Skip to main content

Full text of "Flagellation in France from a medical and historical standpoint"

See other formats


The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 

In compliance with current 

copyright law, Cornell University 

Library produced this 

replacement volume on paper 

that meets the ANSI Standard 

Z39.48-1992 to replace the 

irreparably deteriorated original. 





®trat longc mm qutbeih §ententta 

gut tm^erium crebtt gratJtug c88c out gtuMIhig 

S8t (luob fit, (juoTO illub quob ttuiicitia ubiuugitur. 

(Tee. Ad. 1, I, 42.—) 

in grttticc 


Medical and Historical 


— ►^<3«^ — 
Rights of Translation and Reproduction resented. 


Publisher of Medical, Historical, and Folklore Works, 





He is much mistaken, in my opinion, who thinks that authority- 
exerted by force, is more weighty and more lasting than that which 

is enjoined by kindness. 


Pathological Studies of the Past 

glagcllction in gtttucc 


SKebical anb ^igtorical Stanbliomt 


Publisher of Medical, Folk-lore and Historical Works 




Deux exemplaires do cet ouvrage, destines aux CoUectioiie Rationales, ont ^te 
deposes conformement a la loi. 

En consequence, I'Editeur se reserve le droit de propriete de la traduction, et 
ponrsuivra tous contrefactcurs ou debitants de contrefa9ons.- 


My spleene swells not when fooles with babies strike. 

Pack hence, precision: cry'st it is obsceane? 

Diue deeper, shaUowe pate: knowe what I meane. 

Knowe what I meane? alas! what hope haue I? 

Since carpers mindes haue but a poreblynd eye. 

Yet to prevent thy censures, thus muche knowe, 

Whollye this booke was made, foUie to showe, 

And he which laies ope tymes abuse, and vice, 

Are sildome blam'd of men Judicious wise: 

At which I aym'd ; and therefore, duncepate hence, 

Or looke for lashes for thy rude offence. 

(Goddard) Sat^ricall 2>ialofl\?c. 


There are subjects which an Englishman is generally taught he 
must not talk about, hint at or even think about. Such tabooed 
topics are those relating to everything sexual. Whenever a man 
is suspected of being a Nihilist or an Anarchist, and the police 
search his dwelling, woe unto him, innocent or guilty, if there 
be found the least scrap of ultra-radical literature. With 
printed works bearing upon the relations of the sexes, the 
bibliophile is put down as a vile seducer, a madman, or as a 
follower of Oscar the Outcast. Thanks to this system of hj^ocrisy, 
observable in all Protestant communities, many social problems, 
which, if resolutely worked out in the open light of day would 
be undoubtedly conducive to the happiness of nations, by purifying 
the state of society, are left untouched, and when a timid searcher 
tries to throw a feeble ray of light upon them with only a half- 
opened lantern, he is warned off such dangerous territory by cries 
of fear, terror, disgust and scorn. Thus it is patent that the 
theory of flagellation, whether religious or erotic, has never been 
thoroughly set forth in a serious work and probably never will 
be. Flagellants and their victims will not confess their failings, 
and if by chance they do, they utter more falsehoods than a fortune- 
teller, so we are perforce driven to pick up our information as 
best we may, searching through the dusty pages of forgotten 


volumes of olden times and contemporaneously scraping up precious 
tit-bits from all kinds of books in all languages and from the 
public prints, veluti in speculum. And then with all due modesty, 
as befits a true author and his generous pubUsher, we confess 
that the subject is a vast one, immense, and as yet awaiting its 
historian, because it embraces every nation. All the world flogs 
and wiU be flogged, more or less, according to chmatical and 
hereditary influences. We have a pet idea of our own, and that 
is that lascivious manias are handed down to us from our fore- 
fathers. If one of our ancestors was a whipper in the active 
sense, dehghting at the whistle of a supple birch, we also love 
to flourish a bunch of twigs before the handsome, half-laughing, 
and half-crying face of a none too-unwilling fair damsel, wife, 
companion or faithful female friend ; while if our great-grandfather 
was in the habit of pulling out a silken purse and slipping its 
rings to hand over a couple of guineas before being strapped on 
the Berkeley horse, we, his degenerate descendants, are as likely 
as not to be regular customers to the up-to-date " massage ° 
establishments of the West of London, where * Nurse Tottie " , 
deals in " discipline treatment ' at a sovereign an hour. We 
cannot, alas I prove our statement, as Granny keeps her secrets 
and never tells us youngsters how many times her husband, the 
last of the port- wine drinkers, kissed the rod on his knees before 
her, or made her, his lawful spouse, beg for mercy at the foot 
of the fine old mahogany four-post bedstead. 

Therefore, lovers of literature relating to all topics bearing 
upon love and marriage or sexual curiosities, however peculiar, 
will hail with delight all new matter tending to open out fresh 
departures in this particular branch of social science. We are 
certain that every student, well-informed though he may be, 
will be interested in this new work, where there are several 
undiscovered cases relating to whipping in all ways, while he 



who has never yet turned his attention to any description of this 
fascinating idiosyncracy, will be astonished, delighted, amused 
and perhaps disgusted, as the case may be. Even the latter 
contingency will please us, for if our little work only saves 
one reader, out of the purchasers of the whole edition, from 
becoming an absolute slave to the rod, our labour will not have 
been in vain. 

We hold up our head, look the enlightened Public straight in 
the eye, and declare that flagellation is one of the passions 
inherent to the human race and as such worthy of research, 
study, exposition and dissertation. 



"Sunb fathers, 
§ai)tttfl Bouni) np t^t tijteolentng tttiiB§ of Uti^, 
Dnlt) to §ticE it in t^cir c^tlbrcn'S Sig^t 
gor terror, not to u§e, in time t^t rob 
a3ecome§ more mocfcb tl^an fcarcb. 

Measure fob Measure. Act I. sc. 3. 


N the good old principle of defining one's terms 
before using them we will at once state what 
we mean by the word "flagellation." The term is itself 
a revelation, pointing to the existence of a custom once 
prevalent in ancient Rome.* Slaves and prisoners were 
there beaten by irate masters and mistresses with a fla- 
gellum, the diminutive of flagrum, a whip, a scourge — and 
from this word is derived "flagellation," — a beating, 
whipping, or flogging. Nowadays, the wprd is generally 
meant to imply a beating with any other instrument be- 
sides a whip, for instance a cane, such as are sold in certain 

* Classical scholars will recollect the inscription cited by Petronius 
{Sntt/ricon, chap. V), which was hung np on a tablet at the entrance 
to the house : — 



(See Titi Petronii Arhitri equitis Romani Satyricon, Amstelodami, 

4 ^iaQetiation in ^vamc, 

shops in London expressly for the chastisement of naughty 
children. This article is thin and flexible and capable of 
causing excruciating pain as we can well recollect when 
applied to our own skins in the domestic circle before 
we had attained our teens. Or a strap may be employed ; 
this is, we believe, a favourite form of punishment adopted 
mainly by coalheavers, cobblers, mechanics and other work- 
men wearing belts as a ready means of correction of 
their hapless wives and offspring when their democratic 
° lord of creation " has been ruffled. The ordinary walking 
stick is also sometimes made use of, but hardly enjoys 
the same popularity as a further instrument we have to 
mention : — that terribly-tender, tenderly-terrible, potent 
bogey of childhood's fancy and recollection— the Birch ! What 
man is there, aye and woman either, arrived at the discre- 
tion of mature years who does not call to mind the correc- 
tion applied by Papa or Mamma with this little thing! 

Its mere name calls up a whole train of happy and 
unhappy memories! Happy were we then with no cares 
to trouble, no suspicion of the world's deceit and two- 
facedness, for then we eyed it with unquestioning faith 
and admiration. Unhappy we may have been then, but 
the tears of childhood's days are as water compared to 
the agonies endured since, which would weep themselves 
out; only tears now refuse to come. Who would not go 
back if he or she could to the days of birch and rod and 
cane and the after-consolations of sweets and toys and 
promises to be better, the latter to be forgotten as quickly 
as the former were eaten or broken. 

The history of flagellation is as old as human history 
itself. We require no deep researches in old, dust-covered 
archives to convince us of this. A moment's reflection 

as^iV^ing in i^cmvaU 5 

will supply the proofs. Flagellation is founded on brutality 
more or less ferocious, and brutality is perhaps almost 
a necessity of human nature. We see this even in the 
little boy born of good Christian progenitors, who uses his 
infant intelligence to catch and torture flies, chase cats, 
or to tie broken kettles to dogs' tails ; for all of which 
his kind parents feel constrained to catch him in his turn 
and apply equivalent torture to his wriggling body. All 
this we know is very shocking and very sad but unfor- 
tunately it is fact and in this age of scientific classifica- 
tion fact must be dealt with. Those people who may 
imagine the subject too trivial can have no idea of its 
real importance. They may, we suspect, belong to that 
wretched few who have never all their life revelled in the 
luxury of a castigation. Our pages are addressed to those 
whose skins at one time or other of their life have smarted 
under a good beating, and only such will this article interest. 

It is not our intention to trace the history of the Birch 
amongst various nations. That has been already done, 
although we regret that the learned compiler of a " History 
of the Rod" omitted to quote authorities for his state- 
ments, an omission which, of course, reduces considerably 
the value of his book. Every now and again also, dis- 
cussions crop up in the Medical and Society journals and 
other papers respecting the influence of the birch ; we give 
a sample recently culled: 


* The question then is, what form of corporal punish- 
ment shall we use? Caning the hands and back is 
decidedly bad. It injures the nerves, destroys some of 

6 ^la^cUation in Stance. 

them, and hurts the bones, nay, may even break them. 
A clouting is not safe, it may injure the ear, the brain, 
or any other part of the body. A stick is dangerous. 
But a switch or a bunch of birchen twigs can do no 
harm— unless in the hands of an absolute ruffian, fit for 
a lunatic asylum or the gallows. Moreover, the art of 
birching requires some preparation, which is not without 
its use both to boy and master. The preparation for 
castigation is often the worst part of the birching for the 
boy, while the delay will give time for any un.due anger 
in the master to disappear. A properly-administered 
flogging is a particularly unpleasant sensation ; it is short 
and sharp, and peculiarly awe-inspiring while it lasts, 
but only leaves behind a little smarting and a reminder 
when th« urchin sits down. Nature has provided a cushion 
covered with a sensitive skin, which, if acted upon rightly, 
cannot result in injury, but will undoubtedly produce a 
most vivid sensation." * The birch is no respecter of 
persons. On the backs of the rich and the poor, the 
great and the humble, it has descended with equal severity. 
Pisanus Fraxi f in his able and rare bibliographical notes 
records that : 

" Many and various are the men who have left us reminis- 
cences of their school miseries. From their descriptions 

By An Obsbbver. (Cotton Press 1897.) Mainly a collection of articles 
contributed to the Medical Press and Circular, the Provincial Medical 
Journal, and the Sanitary Record. The subjects dealt with include 
the physiological and mental effects of musical training on , children, 
the use of the birch, building sites and soils, barrack dwellings, health 
resorts, etc. 

•)■ " Centuria Librorum Absconditorum," (Lond. 1879). 

as^i^j^ittg in m^nevaU 7 

of the fastigations inflicted by their preceptor, * and 
in some instances by their parents, we may gather that 
these " fouette culs " f took a delight in the exercise. 
It will suffice to enumerate here Erasmus, ^ Desforges, ^ 
S. T. Coleridge, ^ Charles Lamb, * Alexander Somer- 
yiLLE, ^ Capel Loft, * Colonel Whitethorn, '' Leigh Hunt. 
A similar conclusion must be arrived at after perusal 
of the floggings described by numerous writers of fiction, 
whose narratives, be it remarked, are generally based 
upon actual experience and observation. ^ Indeed, such 
teachers as Dr. Gill ^ and Dr. Colet of St. PauFs 
School, De. Drury and Dr. Vaughan of Habeow, Dr. 
BusBT, Dr. Keate, Major Edgewoeth of Eton and the Rev. 

* BUCHANAN, tutor to Kiog JAMBS the first, used to wliip his 
Majesty freely. When asked whether he did not fear to strike the 
Lord's Anointed? "Nae", said he, "I never touch his anointed end." 

t See DicT. de la LAireuB Vbbte, A Delvatj, Paris, 1867. 

' Le Poete, Paris 1819— vol. 1. 

' De Pueris. 

' Specimens of Table Talk. May 27, 1830. 

* Essays of Elia; and Recollections of Christ's Hospital. 
' Autobiography of a Working Mnn. London, 1848. 

° Cell Fokmation; or, the History of an Individual Mind: London 

' Memoirs op a Cape Rifleman. I have not seen this work. 

' Vide RICHARD HEAD'S English Rosue; FIELDING'S Tom 
Jones; SMOLLETT'S Roderick Random; CAPT. MARRY AT'S Rattlin 
THE Reefer; DICKENS' Nicholas Nickleby ; KINGSLET'S West- 
ward HO ; TIECK'S Reisbkde ; the Abb^ BORDELON'S Gomgam, ou 
I' Homme prodigieux, etc. Some very forcible descriptions of floggings 
will also be found in Settlers and Convicts, London 1847; Twelve 
TEARS A Slave, London 1853. 

° See Gill upon Gill, or Gill's Ass uncased, unstript, unbound, 
MDCVIII; also DAVENANT'S lines On Doctor Gill, Master of Paul's 

8 ^la^cUation in ^vanu, 

James Bowyek * of Christ's Hospital have become by- 
words in this respect. They seem to have held with 
Edgar Alien Poe that : " Children are never too tender 
to be whipped : like tough beef-steaks, the more you beat 
them the more tender they become." 

Oh ye! who teach the ingenuous youth of nations, 
Holland, France, England, Germany, or Spain, 
I pray ye flog them upon all occasions, 
•It mends their morals, never mind the pain: .... 

(Byron, Don Juan, Cauio II, stanza I.) 

Flagellation is of various kinds and may be classified 
under several heads according to the dominant idea that 
controls the operation. For our present purposes we have 
adopted the following rough category : — 

I. J^lagellattons in IblBtotg. 

II. IReligtous fflagellatlona. 
in. fflagellation in Xtterature. 
IV. /Dbe&ical fflagellation. 

V. Conjugal or Domestic Corrections. 

To pretend for a moment that we are going to exhaust 
all or indeed any of these would be simply misleading, 
as, properly treated, each of the above subjects would 
easily make a fair sized book. Our sole aim is to give 
a general view with running comment in the hope that 
some abler pen may one day take up the fascinating theme 
and follow it up into its farthest ramifications. 

* "It is told of COLERIDGE that when he heard of his old 
master's (Bowyer's) death, he remarked that it was lucky that the 
cherubim who took him to Heaven were nothing but faces and wings 
or he would infallibly have flogged them by the way." The Blue- 
Coat Boys, p. 90. In the same vol. there are anecdotes of LAMB, 
COLERIDGE, and LEIGH HUNT. The above story has also been 
told, I believe, of Dr. Busby. 

23e<iting§ in ^i^iott). 9 

IbiStorical jFlagellations. As regards scenes of flag- 
ellation in French History, we confess that we have not 
been able to unearth many. But this is, no doubt, due to 
our limited range of reading. These historical beatings 
in their turn may be divided under different heads, i.e. 
I. Sa&iStiC. — arising out of the mere lust of cruelty 

and pleasure taken in the suffering of others. 
II. Disctplinar^, 

III. 5&fos^itcratfc, and 

IV. IRevengefuI. 

In illustration of the Sadistic, we may notice the case 
quoted by Krafft Ebing. * We give the passage as it 
stands : — 

° In history there are examples of famous women who, 
to some extent, had sadistic instincts. These Messalinas 
are particularly characterized by their thirst for power, 
lust, and cruelty. Among them are Valeria Messalina 
herself, and Catherine de Medici, the instigator of the 
Massacre of St. Bartholomew, whose greatest pleasure was 
found in having the ladies of her court whipped before 
her eyes, etc." 

The gifted Henry von Kleist, who was undoubtedly 
mentally abnormal, gives a masterly portrayal of complete 
feminine sadism in his " Penthesilea ". In scene XII, 
Kleist describes his heroine with Achilles, whom she had 
been pui-suing in the fire of love, betrayed into her hands, 
as, overcome with lustful, murderous fury, she tears him 
in pieces and sets her dogs on him : ' She strikes, tearing 

* PsYCHOPATHiA Sexualis. With espscial reference to Contrary Sexual 
Instinct: A Medico-Legal Study. By Dr. R. von Krafft-Ebing. 
Authorized translation of the Seventh Enlarged and revised German 
edition. By Chas. Gilbert Chaddock, m. d., Philadelphia, 1895. 

10 fytageHation in ^vatvu, 

the armour from his body ; they set their teeth in his white 
breast,— she and her dogs, the rivals, Oxus and Sphynx, 
—they on the right side, she on the left; and as I ap- 
proached blood dripped from her hands and mouth. " And 
later, when Penthesilea becomes satiated : " Did I kiss 
him to death ? No. Did I not kiss him ? Torn in pieces ? 
Then it was a mistake; kissing rhymes with biting, and 
one who loves with the whole heart might easily mistake 
the one for the other." * 

56i03?ncratlC jflagellation. Amongst curi_ous instan- 
ces of flagellation which in the' : absence of a better name 
.we term idiosyncratic we cite the following. 

A very extraordinary case which reminds us very much 
of the old fellow in Dickens' 'Tale of Two Cities", of an 
old man, confined in the Bastille, to whom flagellation had 
become a second nature, is recorded by Db Renneville. f 
Seeing a birch-rod on the chimney-piece, he enquired 
whether it was not kept to chastise a dog then in the 

" No," said our ferocious Philosophe, " it is the violin 
of this old fool," pointing out to me the ancient Doctor 
of the Faculty. And of a sudden, this barbarous Corrector, 
seized a formidable bundle of rods ; " Come along " at once 
said he to the puerile old man, " and no answering back, 
down with your breeches." The old fellow, all of a tremble 
threw himself on his knees before the inexorable Satyr, 

* In the latest literature we find the matter treated, but particularly 
in Saoher-Masoch's novels, which are hereafter to be alluded to, and 
in Ernest von Wildenbruch's ' Brunhilde " ; Rachilde's ' La Marquise 
de Sade ", etc. 

t L' Inquisition Fkan90isb, ou V Histoire de la Bastille, vol. Ill, 
p. 256, a curious wood-cut illustrates the scene. 

^eatin^B in ^movt). 11 

and with his cap on his knees, and scratching his head 
with both hands, he said with tears ; " Why do you want 
to whip me? I have not yet done any harm to-day." 
" Would you dare ask for pity while you scratch your 
head?" answered the arrogant Pedant, hitting him roughly 
on the fingers with the rods : " now then, down with your 
breeches; you do not mend matters by making such a 
fuss." I at first thought that all this was but a joke; 
which did not trouble me much. But when I saw the 
poor old fool, renewing his tears, pull down his breeches 
and lifting up his blood-stained shirt, he uncovered his 
thin and withered bottom covered as with a single sore 
from the violence of continual whipping, I placed myself 
before him to prevent this extra vagent executioner from 
outraging an aged man who might well have been his 
grand-father. "Sir," said this furious madman, raising his 
Stentorian voice, " Ariaga has said ; — Correctionem esse 
necessariam: sic opinor; ergo pledetur petulans iste," * 
' Ariaga, " I replied, " would say, if he saw you acting as you 
do, that not only is it madness, but also needless cruelty 
to whip an old man over seventy years old, without the 
least motive ; you shall not maltreat him in my presence. ° 
" Go away," continued the philosophic beast, looking askant 
at me, like a bull ready to use his horns, " if you do not 
wish me to treat you as I do this old fool. " " Mr. Ens 
irraHonalis," I answered, "I will suffer like a Christian 
all your follies, as incurable, but if you venture only a 
filip, I will put you in such a state as no longer ever to 
be able to beat your ancestor; reflect more than once 
before you attempt to play with me. ° Saying these words, 

* That discipline is needful. Such is my opinion. Wherefore let 
yonder naughty fellow he punished. 

12 flagellation in ^vanu, 

I dragged away the decrepit doctor from his hands, who 
after having wiped his eyes, began to button up his 
breeches; when Duwall came to me, his rosary in his 
hand, and said to me as seriously as possible that I should 
bring a fearful disorder into the place if I prevented him 
from correcting this old man who was insupportably 
malicious. I was about to answer him and to point out 
the injustice of so unnecessary a proceeding ; when the 
doting old doctor said to me:— "Mind your own business; 
I will be flogged, I will : it is this paternal correction which 
keeps me in vigour," and running towards Gringalet* he 
abandoned his backside to him, which was doubly whipped 
by the pedant; for my opposition had doubled his fury. 
When the operation was finished the doctor asked the ill- 
tempered philosopher for some bread-and-butter, who gave 
him some on condition that he behaved better in future. 

Disciplinary Jflagellation:— Tallemant des Reaux t 
cites an historical case, from which it would appear that 
even the posterior rotundities of kings were not exempt 
from the chastisement of the birch. The witty historian says : 

" Henry IV wrote to Madame de Monglut, governess to 
the children of France, (the royal princes) : ' I have to 
complain that you have not informed me that you had 
whipped my son, for I will and command you to whip 
him every time that he shall be obstinate, or do something 
wrong, knowing by myself that there is nothing in the 
world more profitable than that ; and I recognize by ex- 
perience that it profited me, for when I was of his age 

A nick-name meaning an inconsistent person, 
t Les HisTOEiETTBS DE Tallemattt DES Reatjx. — Mimoires pour 
sermr d, Vhistoire du 17' Sihcle: 10 vols, in French, Paris, 1840. 

asmtino^ in ^tltoiij* 13 

I was inuch whipped, that is why I require you to do it 
and to make him understand the same'." {Lettres following 
the Journal MUiiaire de Henri'lY, published by the Corate 
de Valori, 1821, p. 400). The Queen altered her mind 
as to her aversion to the humiliating punishment of the 
birch ; we will here quote the testimony of Malherbe : 
" Last Friday M. le Dauphin, playing at chess with La 
Luzerne, who is one of his boys of honour, the latter 
gave him check-mate; M. le Dauphin was so much 
vexed, that he threw his chess-men at his partner's head. 
The Queen heard of it, and caused him to be whipped by . 
M. de Souvray, and. ordered him to teach the prince to be 
more gracious in future." [Lettre de Malherbe A Peiresc, 
of nth January 1610, Paris 1822, p. 111). Some other 
examples are to be met with in the Mimoires de VEMoile, 
collection Petitot, 1st series XLIX, 26. 

Domestic whipping is common to all countries, and 
flourishes in varying degrees according to the manners of 
the time. We think that Solomon's recommendation not 
to spare the rod was perfectly superfluous, simply because 
no parents in their right mind would hesitate for a moment 
to thrash their children, however big and strong, and 
whether boy or girl, if the castigation were to save them 
from moral ruin. We remember a case of a young woman 
of eighteen being corrected in this way by her' widowed 
mother and her uncle. This brazen hussy was going fast 
to the bad, and laughed, her mother to scorn When she 
spoke of a beating; but the mother, wisely and properly, 
called in the uncle one fine morning, and our young lass 
was very glad to cry for mercy and promise amendment." 
Parents, in fact, are sometimes obliged to delegate ti^i^r 
powers to others, as the following interview wilLi|ro%^ 

14 g'lacjeUatiun in ^va%xa. 

This report appeared in LE PARIS (Tuesday, 24th December, 
1889), and is, of course, biased, as the French people 
generally do not seem to share our opinions with regard 
to correction in the domestic circle, while we, on our side, 
are not fond of giving mere sundry cuffs and blows, which 
we hold have a demoralising tendency. 


Much has been done of late to find new occupations for 
women of good education and who are obliged Jjy neces- 
sity to earn their livelihood. 

Our lady neighbours across the Channel have just dis- 
covered one .which is certainly not devoid of originality, 
but which' opens out a career that I believe few of our 
Parisiennes will be tempted to follow. They may form an 
idea of it by the following advertisements, which we cull 
from the DAILY NEWS, the DAILY TELEGRAPH, and 
the TIMES: 

" Vicious chaeactee, hysteeia'and laziness can be cueed 
by a seveee discipline and a caeeful education." 

Or again : 


"Advice for the education of children ' , and "The Birch", 
1 shilling. Advice by lettee, 3 shillings. Address: Mrs. 
WALTER, HiGH-scHooL House, Clifton, Bristol." 

The correspondents of the 'iVec^irfa of Saint-Petersburg 
had the curiosity to get one of his lady friends to inter- 
view^" MrsV Walter". 

^^^; visitor was' introduced into a plain but comfortable 
^^^h drawing-room, enlivened by a bright coal fire. 

^0t)n 25ttir§ ^auQXyUv^. 15 

Around the fireside were seated several ladies, who looked 
at each other somewhat diffidently, without conversing, as 
if they each of them preferred keeping their incognito. 

Shortly afterwards a door opened on the opposite side 
of the room, and there entered a tall woman, square built, 
of masculine appearance, her body without a bend, her 
cap and dress in general having a semi-monastic air in 
keeping with the calmly cold expression of her features. 
Her flat breast was ornamented with a medallion bearing 
the inscription : " The Good Shepherd. " 

She silently escorted her last ' visitor to the door, then 
turning to one of the ladies seated near to the fire-place, 
she led her into her private room. The interview did not 
last long, another client succeeded her, and the Russian 
lady, who was the tenth, had during a quarter of an hour 
leisure to count six new arrivals. 

At last it was her turn. Of course there was a big 
Bible lying on Mrs. Walter's desk, and next to it was a 
still more voluminous book. 

" I have a niece whom I find it quite impossible to 
manage and I feel inclined to confide her to your care," 
said the Russian lady; " but I am first desirous of obtaining 
some details concerning your system of education. If . I 
am right I presume that all the ladies whom I have seen in 
your drawing-room, came like me to solicit your advice?" 

" These ladies are clients of mine, many of them have 
come from London," answered Mrs. Walters, in a firm, slow 
and distinctly articulated voice. 

She opened the. big ledger before her, already covered 
with addresses. 

" These ladies, having children that are either rebellious 
or vicious, beg of me to call upon them in order to apply 

16 ^laQeUation m ^vanu. 

discipline to the stubborn. I charge half a guinea per 
visit. I receive, in roy establishment, boarders at lUO 
pounds per annum, the table, instruction and discipline 

" I should like to know precisely in what your disci- 
pline consists." 

"I only seek the opportunity to propagate a system of 
education that I have experimented, and which is based 
on divine precepts, the very truth itself. When a young 
girl is confided to my charge, I bring her heire, and cause 
her to sit down there..." 

She pointed to a stool placed in full light. 
" I tell her that I know her faults, and I make her 
understand that it is her own interest to obey without 
questioning. I always commence with moral suggestions," 
repeated' Mrs. Walters. 

" Do they sometimes succeed ? " questioned the visitor. 
" Rarely," replied Mrs. Walters; " application is g«nerally 
made to me when all other means of persuasion have 
already failed. At the first act of insubordination, I warn 
my pupil that if she perseveres in that course, I shall 
have recourse to more stringent measures to reduce her 
to obedience. After this warning I still bear some patience, 
but at the very first fault, disobedience or. falsehood, I 
declare to the delinquent that she shall be flogged. But 
it is a rule with me never to whip a child while I am 
in anger. . . 

" On the day fixed on for the punishment, I prepare a 
long, narrow and solid table. I place- cushions on this 
table, and provide myself with leathern straps and a good, 
long, supple birchen rod. I then tell the young girl to 
approach and receive her punishment. I command hec to 

SoOtt fBnlV^ ^axiQi)Uv§. 17 

take off her frock, her petticoats and to put on a peignoir 
buttoning behind. When she is ready, I explain her fault 
to her and the necessity of chastisement, which I consider 
as a remedy. 

" I promise her that if she does not cry out, nobody will 
know that she has been undergoing punishment, but I 
warn .her' that if she cries out or struggles, I shall be 
obliged to call for assistance. Young girls mostly prefer 
submitting to their punishment so that no one should be 
aware of it. 

" When she has become resigned to her chastisement, I 
place her upright before the end of the table and incline 
the upper part of her body as far as the waist down upon 
the cushions. I then tie her hands and feet, which I 
attach to the table. 

"All this takes less time to do than it takes to relate, " 
added Mrs. Walter. 

"These preparations ended," she continued, " I unbutton 
the peignoir, I take hold of the birch and stand at a 
certain distance, on one side. I then begin to whip her 
slowly, but with force, at each stroke coming nearer to 
the patient, so that each time the birch may fall upon a 
fresh place. When the whipping is well and energetically 
executed, six strokes of the birch suifice to take away 
from the sufferer the slightest desire to begin again. If 
the offense has been very grave, I then go to the other 
side and whip in thfe contrary direction. 

' If the girl should cry out, I give her a few strokes 
extra. If she is wise and accepts the punishment with 
humility, I then, for instance, spare her two strokes 'out 
of a dozen. Finally, when all is over, I button up the 
peignoir and unfasten the girl. I usually find her brought 

18 lylrtocWrttion in Stance* 

to better feelings and I assist her to come to true re- 
pentance. When the. fustigation has heen administered 
under good conditions, according to rule and conscien- 
tiously, it is seldom that the young girl rebels against the 
punishment; she is generally humiliated, on the conti-ary, 
and quite ready to make it up with me. It very rarely 
occurs that after having received, a sound correction a 
girl repels me when I say to her ' let us kiss and make 

" Afterwards, I give her time to recover from her emotions 

and advise her to go back to her room without saying 

a. word to any one. It is very rare indeed," added Mrs. 

Walter with pride, " for any of my pupils to fall back 

again into their faults after a good whipping ; at any rate, 

I have never had to repeat the dose more than twice." 

Mrs. Walter was silent for a moment, and then observed: 

" If you are inclined to confide your niece to my care ? . . . " 

"She is too big," replied the visitor; "she is fifteen 

years old." 

" Too big ! " exclaimed Mrs. Walters, " but.l have pupils 
twenty years old; I have birched them every one, and 
they are only all the better for it ! " 

IRevengefUl Jflagellatfons. Instances of these in 
French history are perhaps more numerous and certainly 
more piquant. In the " Causes Calibres" * there is a 

* Causes c^lfebres et int^ressantes, avec les jiigeitients qui les out 
d^oidees, recueillies^ par Gayst de Pitaval. Amst. et Li^ge, 1755. 
Continu^es par De la Ville. 26 vol. in 12mo. Editions de Paris. 
1738—1743 en 20 vol. et d'Amsterdam en 22 vol. 

Curieuse publication, contenant: Histoire de la Marquise de Brin- 
villiers, c^lebre empoisonneuse — Hi« d'Urbain Grandier, condamn^ 
corame auteur de la possession des religieuses de Loudun — La, belle 

curious case cited under the enigmatic title of " Outrage 


qu'ellb eut aveo la Marquise de Feesnil, et de l'Insulte 
qu'elle en essuta. * 

We cannot do better than give this extraordinary case 
in the quaint words of the century-old compiler of, the 
"Causes Celebres." Only mere references to it have been 
made hitherto in English works; we are the first to give 
a detailed account of one of the most passionate an^ 
curious law-suits that stirred pre-revolutionary France to 
its depths. It was a singular punishment for one lady to 
imagine against another, and to-day would be dealt no 
doubt with as ^ common assault. We know of no equi- 
valent case in the annals of English jurisprudence, nor 
are we deep-read lawyers enough to say whether this 
mode of revenge has been provided for by the Statutes. 

^pici^re ou la femme adulters condamn^e— Religieuse pr^tendne 
hermaphrodite — Abolition du Congrfes— Refutation de I'apologie du 
Congres — Hr'' d'une coquette de I'Op^ra, etc., etc. 

Our case is given in the 4th vol. page 348 and occupies some 
40 pages. 

* Sanguinary Outrage committed by one Lady upon another; or 
Story of the Lady of Liancourt and of the quarrel that she had with 
the Marchioness of Fresnil, and of the Insult that sprang from it. 




HERE are crimes, against which the Laws have 
written down no penalties : and yet they disturb 
the order of society, interest the honour of individuals, and 
stamp upon them certain stains of infamy. In such cases 
the judges may punish the guilty with afaictive penalties, 
taking into consideration the circumstances which give 
enormity to the crime. 

Amongst such offences we must class the strange venge- 
ance, which was wreaked more than two hundred years ago, 
by the Marquise de Fresnil on the person of Madame de • 
Liancourt. Although in the insult she cast upon this high- 
born lady, the hirelings employed to execute her will 
did not commit the further outrage of rape on Madame 
de Liancourt, the public was none the less convinced, that 
they had stopped at nothing, and that they really had 
carried license to its utmost limits. But, in tales of this 
kind it is customary to give free rein to fancy and once 
excited the public will imagine anything. 

^^e Srtbt) of Sianc0ttt?t 21 

Madame de Liancourt was a de Lannoy, the daughter of 
a financier : she was an orphan at the age of from nine 
to ten years; her father's brother received her into his 
house. As soon as she was old enough, her principal 
object like that of all properly-constituted young ladies, was 
marriage. Indeed, tradition affirms that by the elegance 
of her shape, and the delicacy of her features, she was 
made for the delight and vexation of lovers : but her for- 
tune which was not free and paid up, was a sufficient 
cause why the lovers did not readily become transmogrified 
into husbands. Her beauty thus attracted the amorous, 
and the state of her fortune disheartened those who would 
otherwise have dreamed of marriage. Her Procureur au 
Parlement {legal adviser) presented to her an Auvergnat, 
a sub-equerry of the Duke of Orleans, but an honorary 
sub-equerry only, the sole advantage that his office brought 
to him, being that it favoured the trade in horses which 
he carried on; so that by his intrigue and his industry 
he was able to cut a decent figure. Paris is full of such 
kind of people, whose genius is a sounder investment 
than an estate exposed to hail-storms. She married him 
and his talents ; and amongst them that which he devoted 
for law-suits proved of great assistance to this lady. With 
so much success did he conduct those which she had 
pending, that he liberated her property and after the 
payment of all debts put her in possession of one hundred 
thousand livres. He then, as if nothing more now remained 
for him to do in this world, had the good grace to give 
up the ghost and make his wife a widow. 

When this lady's fortune had so embellished her beauty, 
as to render her the object of those who aimed at the 
matrimonial Sacrament, they came in crowds ; but looking 

22 ^ladeUatioit in ^vanu. 

still only for solid qualities, she preferred to all his com- 
petitors Monsieur Romet, a widower, a master of Rivers 
and Forests whose first wife had been the sister of Father 
Bouhours. * Strange to say it was her widower husband's 
advanced age that determined the young widow, who 
contrary, we believe, to the general rule for her new marriage, 
consulted neither the throbbings of her senses nor the pas- 
sions of youth. No doubt, she foresaw that an old man 
being nearer to the end of his career, would enable her 
the sooner to come into possession of the advantages the 
marriage offered; that these advantages compensating the 
disproportion of their respective ages, would be all the 
better as coming to her quickly. The event did honour 
to her perspicacity. An anecdote is related of her, which 
shows that she was a woman of a strikingly two-faced, 
artful and selfish disposition. 

As in this work I have proposed to please as well as 
to instruct the public, I may be permitted to relate 
incidents which serve to make known the characters whom 
I place before the footlights. At the time when her 
husband was dangerously ill, Madame Romet was ambitious 
of possessing precious stones. For that purpose she hit 
upon a rather clever idea which she acted upon as soon 
as he got well. He wished to make her a present of a 
rich dress: "No," said she, "I cannot accept your pre- 
sent: I have promised Saint Frangois Faule, to wear the 
Minim habit, if you, are restored to health. I am too 
sensible of the grace that he has obtained for me, not to 
fulfil my vow." Her husband was much touched by this 
proof of her tenderness, which, he thought, was all the 

* Father Bouhours, a celebrated Jesuit. 

^i)e Sab>> of ^ianconvt* 23 

more sincere, because the love of dress is not one of the 
least passions that move the mysterious heart of woman. 
So, entirely as a present, he gave her 20,030 livres worth 
of precious gems, to set off the modesty of the garb she 
had vowed to wear. Shortly afterwards, death, who had 
made but a mock blow against master Romet, played his 
part in grim earnest. 

Reduced to widowhood for the second time, with fortune 
considerably increased, and without any diminution of her 
beauty, she was sought after by a crowd of wooers, the 
greater number of whom were naturally more love-stricken 
with her money than by her charms. Her preference fell 
upon a Monsieur Seguier de Liancourt, whom she married. 
Notwithstanding the large fortune of her new husband, 
his loose conduct led Madame de Liancourt in a short time 
to fear for her dowry. This man turned out a thorough 
spendthrift, but he had fallen into the hands of a strong-minded 
lady. After the first extravagances of her husband, she 
obtained a separation of goods by a sentence of the 
Tribunal of the Chatelet. This precaution, having irritated 
him, disputes soon sprang up in their married life. That 
did not prevent her from bearing him children. This is the 
advantage of possessing a charming exterior; it brings again 
together in love the husband and wife who were at variance. 

The estate where she resided, was not far from that 
inhabited by Monsieur des Ursins, Marquis de Tresnel. 
She was a frequent visitor at this place, and always well 
received by the Marquis. The Marchioness de. Tresnel, 
mother of the Marquis, in her defence, says that Madame 
de Liancourt ruled there. The Marquis was then not yet 
married, but as soon he had espoused Mademoiselle de 
Gaumont, a coldness grew up between the two ladies and- 

24: ^laQeUation in ^vanu* 

Madame de Liancourt disappeared from the Chateau where 
formerly she had been a welcome guest. 

The Marchioness pretended that Madame de Liancourt 
indited a satire against her, in the form of a petition 
addressed to the Intendaut of Paris. This satire wound 
up by making out in a playful way, that the Marchioness 
had to be sent to the " Petites-Maisons" mad-house. She 
complained to the Marshals of France, and deposited in 
the Record-OfBce the petition which had been distributed 
everywhere, but, although she obtained the right to have 
a judicial enquiry set on foot, which was done, she did 
not thereby succeed in proving that Madame de Liancourt 
was the author of the objectionable document. But none 
the less she was convinced of the fact, and watched for 
an opportunity of revenge, which, the day the offence was 
proved she had made up her mind to deal out with no light 
hand. Poets pretend that this passion was the pleasure of 
the Gods. Experience proves that it is also the pleasure of 
the fair sex, and that vindictive men are in that respect 
inferior to women. Women better understand the refine- 
ments of revenge, and better than men they know how 
to rise above fear, when they wish to take their unstinted 
fill of their victim's torments. Their very heart at such 
times may be said to be kneaded with the leaven of hate. 

The Marchioness was burning to satisfy hers. She 
went to the Church of the Nuns of Chaumont du Vexin 
Frangois, to hear the sermon. Mademoiselle de Liancourt, 
the daughter, was there ; she bowed to the Marchioness, 
but did not offer to cede her place to her. After the ser- 
mon the ladies were invited to partake of some refreshment, 
when the Marchioness complained bitterly of what she 
called the incivility of Mademoiselle de Liancourt, whom 

%i)0 Srtbi) 0f Siaucouvt 25 

she reproached with having ignored the rules of good 
breeding. By birth she considered herself to be far superior 
to both mother and daughter. It is well known that 
women, in regard to the rules of precedence, are much 
more obstinate than men, and that, in the idea they may 
form of their peculiar merit, the being born noble consti- 
tutes a dominant factor. They are little short of esteem- 
ing themselves as belonging to a superior human species, 
greatly distinguished above common folk, and even above 
nobles of a more recent creation. 

This incident passed, people imagined the affair ended. 
But it was not so. The Marchioness, escorted by her 
lackeys, went on the 9th August 1691, to the Church of 
the Abbey of Gromerfontaine, to hear the panegyric of 
Saint -Bernard, and there found Madame de Liancourt 
already seated. Our noble lady marched purposely straight 
up to her, and, finding that the latter had risen as if to 
salute her, the Marchioness thrust her out of her place 
and seated herself therein. She admits in her defence 
that, not knowing how to write verses, she wanted to be 
revenged for the satire, and that she was guilty of an 
act of incivility that she would not have shown to the 
meanest person for whom she might have felt resentment. 

It can easily be guessed that Madame de Liancourt, 
not being the stronger, relieved her feelings by abuse ; 
which provoked the Marchioness to call her a " petite 
bourgeoise", and to threaten to get her maltreated by 
her husband the Marquis. She also termed her a ' co- 
quette" ; and as she did not herself possess the personal 
charms of Madame de Liancourt, the latter retaliated by 
shooting at her an epithet signifying a woman who is 
complaisant and serviceable for the purposes of a variety 

26 fylitgellation In ^vanu* 

of lovers. It is in the height of their anger that women 
of the world, who possess the gift of speech, enrich the 
language with new phrases. 

This conversation gave to the Marchioness a new incen- 
tive to vengeance. From that moment she resolved to 
inflict the most signal affront on Madame de Liancourt that 
her ingenuity could devise. 

It was said among the public that a negro in the 
service of the Marchioness had meddled in the quarrel, 
and that his zeal for his mistress had been embittered by 
a witty shaft on the subject from Madame de Liancourt. 
These are injuries that ladies neither forget, nor forgive. 

Persons of consideration, who had witnessed the insult, 
pressed the Marchioness to give satisfaction to Madame 
de Liancourt, and the latter went to the parlour of the 
Abbess of Gromerfontaine to receive in good faith the excuses 
of the Marchioness, who again insulted her. 

Madame de Liancourt, wishing to prevent any further 
unpleasantness, wrote to the Marquis de Tresnel, who by 
the silence he kept, showed that he tacitly sanctioned his 
wife's conduct. 

Madame de Liancourt, some time afterwards, expressed 
the intention of paying a visit to Monsieur and Madame 
de Monbrun at Dauval, whose place was about a league 
and a quarter distant from her own property. The Mar- 
chioness, who had her spies, was soon informed of this 
intention. She quitted her domain in a six-horsed coach, 
accompanied by Mademoiselle de Villemartin, followed by 
four men on horseback, armed with swords and pistols, 
one of whom was the Marquis's valet, and three lackeys 
wearing his livery, while three others out of livery rode 
behind the coach. However quick she may have been, 

Xi)c Sttbi) of ^iamonvt 27 

she was not able to overtake Madame de Liancourt on her 
way to Dauval, but she arranged to take better measures 
against her return. She turned in at the Curb's of Daucour, 
which was not far from the road to Dauval, and posted 
one of her horsemen as a sentinel on the road, to let her 
know as soon as Madame de Liancourt's coach should 
come in sight. At the first notice the Marchioness started 
off in haste. 

As soon as Madame de Liancourt sa,w from afar such 
a large escort, she did not doubt but that her enemy had 
come to insult her. A rapid command to her coachman 
to start off at full trot towards her castle proved of no 
avail. The four horsemen come up, bar the way, giving 
the Marchioness time to arrive in her turn. When the 
two coaches were alongside of each other, she ordered 
her coachman to turn to the right so as to upset the 
coach of Madame de Liancourt; the postilion at once 
obeyed, but the coachman himself, more wisely turned his 
two leading horses to the left. The coachman and the 
lackeys of Madame de Liancourt, afraid that they would 
get roughly handled from the fury of the horsemen, turned 
tail and fled. Two of the lackeys, behind the coach of 
the Marchioness descend like a couple of infuriated maniacs, 
open the door of Madame de Liancourt's coach, seize hold 
of both her and maid, and force them against their will 
to get out. 

For decency's sake I am here obliged to draw a veil 
over the indignities they committed on the person of this 
haughty dame. Certain it is that the lady so dealt 
with crimsoned and turned pale by turns, turned pale 
and crimsoned again ia hot succession; that she kicked 
in vain first to the right and then to the left. No doubt. 

28 ^laQcXlation in ^vamc. 

too, that this elegant dame launched out words more 
expressive than polite. Her assailants were alas too many 
and her legs held tight so that she could no harm, while 
harm to her was being done after the manner of a child. 
Had only ladies been present she could have borne it, 
but to suffer thus under the eyes of the opposite sex were 
very shame. Let it suffice to say that they did not 
proceed to those outrages against the honour of the mis- 
tress and of her maid that mere vulgar people might 
suppose. The Marchioness, who, all the time hugely 
relished the spectacle, when her vengeance was satiated, 
had Madame de Liancourt put back into her coach, of 
which the lackeys had cut the traces and taken off the 
buckles which supported the box, saying to her with bitter 
mockery : " I could not leave a lady of quality on foot 
in the middle of the road." 

The Marchioness having withdrawn triumphant, some 
charitable passers-by gave assistance to Madame de Lian- 
court and her maid, and fetched her a coach. The 
Lady overwhelmed with confusion then returned to her 

The King, on being informed of the matter, forbade the 
husbands resorting to arms. Monsieur and Madame de 
Liancourt lodged their complaint before the Marshals of 
France. This tends to prove that no sensual excesses 
were perpetrated on her, for it is not before the Marshals 
that complaints of great crimes were carried. They even 
consented to be satisfied with the decision of the Arch- 
bishop of Rouen as to the satisfaction that was due to 
Madame de Liancourt: whereas there is no compromise 
whatever for heinous offences. The public, who greatly 
exaggerate the importance of such personal insults, were 

'Zf)e Sabt) of Sianconvt 29 

absolutely convinced that Madame de Liancourt had been 
subjected to the license of hired libertines. 

She was looked upon in the same light as dishonoured 
persons. Why should a woman, to whom, against her 
will, the greatest affront has been offered, consent to 
remain sullied with a sort of infamy? I know that at 
the bottom of the heart justice may be rendered her ; but 
outwardly, those who pity her the most, really despise 
her, and cannot put up with the stain with which they 
imagine her character is blackened. 

Why have we not a Court of Judgment, presided over 
by the sanest men to be found, whose mission it would 
be to render justice to ladies who might meet with a mis- 
fortune of this kind? Such a court would, by reforming 
public prejudice, reinstate a woman, who had been forcibly 
put to shame, in the honourable position she had before 
occupied in the popular esteem. For, no female can forfeit 
her honour, except by the criminal exercise of her own will. 

How ought a woman, blackened in men's opinion, because 
believed to have fallen a victim to unrestrained libertin- 
ism, draw up her Petition? Should her evidence tend to 
strengthen such a supposition ? Her position is indeed delicate. 
For should she show any hesitancy in her denunciation, and 
seem to palliate the affront received, the Public, already 
believing her dishonoured, would absolutely despise her, 
because of her supposed indifference. What course ought 
she to take? It appears that there was really no other 
way left open to the Lady of Liancourt than to confirm 
the Public in its belief as to the licentious outrages com- 
mitted upon her body, since the public belief as to this 
had taken deep root, and make application to the Law 
for vengeance, as though the crime of rape had actually 

30 ^laQcllation in ^vancc* 

been added to that of the fustigation. No other means 
were left to her, of retrieving her dead honour. The Law 
would thus be forced to wash her clean of the mud of 
opprobrium, while, at the same time, fully avenging the 
dishonour done to her person. 

This seems to have been the opinion of Madame de 
Liancourt, when she lodged her complaint, although she 
does not express herself clearly on the subject. But she 
was anticipated by the Procureur Gineral, who, seeing 
the negligence of the local judges to proceed against and 
punish the crime, obtained a decree dated 16 November 
1691, which ordained that the evidence and acts, if such 
had been commenced concerning the conflict which took place, 
between the ladies de Tresnel and de Liancourt, should be 
produced before the Criminal Registry of the Court, and, 
that upon its order proceedings should be instituted. 

The judicial enquiry was made by M. le Nain, already 
celebrated for his able drawing up of several great crim- 
inal cases. He betook himself to the locality, and as 
in reply to the order issued from the Bailiwick of Chau- 
mont du Vexin Franpois, it appeared that no proceedings 
had been taken, the Procureur GinAral obtained a decree 
commanding the Lieutenant Criminel [High Sheriff) of 
this bailiwick and the Procureur du Eoi {Crown Solicitor) 
to appear, within two days after the serving of this 
notice, before the Court, to answer to the conclusions 
that it might take against them, and that in the event 
of their non-appearance, they would be deprived of the 
exercise of their office. They appeared. After having 
been heard, as also the Procureur GdnSral [Attorney 
General), it was ordained that they should be warned that 
they were in fault, that they had been negligent in not 

%f)e Sai>t) of SiaufoutJt 31 

making enquiry into what had happened, even though the 
parties had lodged no complaint; because the offence had been 
committed on the highway. They were again summoned 
into Court. The deliberation of the Court was notified to 
them, they were enjoined to be more vigilant in future 
in the functions of their office, and permitted to withdraw. 

It was then that Madame de Liancourt intervened, con- 
fiding her confusion to the bosom of Justice. After the 
last touch had been given to the criminal proceedings, 
she took civil action. 

In her petition she puts forth, that long enough, and 
even for too long, the grief which mastered her, had 
also imposed silence upon her ; that she would be unworthy 
of the protection of the Court if she did not appear to 
be as anxious for her private revenge, as the Procureur 
General was for that of the outraged public. 

She could not, she said, complain, without again exposing 
herself at the expense of her modesty; but the outrage 
was too cruel to be further hushed up, however painful 
to her it might be to complain. One may judge of the 
severity of this insult since in order to ask for reparation 
she is obliged to render a statement of it which in itself 
once again dishonours her. 

She has the misfortune, she pleads, of having drawn 
upon her the implacable hatred of the Marchioness de 
Tresnel, only on account of those qualities which have 
gained for her the esteem of worthy people. She has no 
occasion to describe her to make her known. It may be 
easily supposed, that a woman, who, to avenge imaginary 
insults, is capable of the black action with which she has 
sullied herself, and who, while it was being committed, 
feasted her vengeance with so much satisfaction, outdoes 

32 ^laQcUation in ^vancc, 

malignity itself. Madame de Liancourt then relates the 
facts ; and, when she comes to the outrage, says that she 
felt ' cruel and bold hands, which executed furiously 
the cruel and infamous orders of the Marquise." * That is 
the utmost she says ; which proves that no outrage against 
her honour was committed. She designates two lackeys 
of the Marquis de Tresnel who had handled her in this 
fashion. Marolle, with a long, narrow face, and with 
dark hair; the other named Picard, with a red face, and 
light hair ; both of them of middle height. She says that 
the Marchioness, by her words inflamed with rage, excited 
the ministers of her vengeance: she leaves us to gather 
that modesty makes her pass over the nature of the 
offences made against her person; and, to express them, 
she does not dare to employ terms which would make her 
blush. She says, that the Marchioness, in her thirst for 
vengeance, has exceeded the cruelty of tyrants. 

She added, in terminating, that she trusts the Court 
will grant her so complete a reparation, as to smother in its 
birth a hatred likely to perpetuate itself and to be transmitted 
in a family, should offended honour be but badly repaired. 

In her claim, she demands that the Marquis de Tresnel 
and the Marchioness his wife, be condemned together with 
those who executed their orders, conjointly, to pay to her 
the sum of one hundred thousand livres, f as damages and 
interest, reserving to the Frocureur GSndral to take such 
conclusions as he may think to be fit and proper for public 
vindication, and for that of the supplicant. 

* Des mains cruelles et hardies qui exScutolent avec fureur les ordres 
cruels et infdmes de la Marquise. 

t A rather dear price for a whipping oven though it be given on 
a public highway to a lady of high quality! 

%f)c &at>\) of gt(incoui?t* 33 

In the Memorandum of defence of the Marchioness, it 
IS first of all declared, that it is not proposed to make 
her appear innocent ; but to prove that she is less culpable 
than the Public has been led to believe. 

It is admitted that she carried her resentment too far, 
and that the vengeance she took was violent, and contrary 
to the most inviolable rules of propriety. 

But, when verily it is known what has preceded this 
action, and the limits within which she had restrained 
herself; when the real nature of the crime has beep 
reflected on, and on the name which is to be given to it; 
it will be found that the resentment of the Marchioness 
was not without foundation, nor the action so extravagant, 
as has been published to the world; and it will even be 
difficult to find therein a matter for public vengeance ak, 
all, far less the subject of a capital crime, as Madame de 
Liancourt pretends. 

The Counsel for the Marchioness adds, that the satire 
in verse, that Madame de Liancourt had written against 
the accused, was the object of legitimate resentment ; but 
he does not seem to Jjave at all proved that Madame de 
Liancourt was the authoress of it. Such a satire, he 
continued, is a greater injury, and is more damaging to 
the reputation of a lady, than the most qualified violence, 
because the first attacks her conduct and her morals, and 
strikes a mortal attaint at her honour, whereas the other 
attacks her body only, without wounding her reputation. 
It marks only the weakness of the person who suff'ers the 
insult; but it does not give a bad impression of her 

He then pretends to prove by the judicial enquiry, that 
no supreme outrage was committed upon Madame de 


34 fylrttjellrttion in ^mncc. 

Liancourt. In fact the evidence on the matter, proves that 
she underwent ill-treatment only, that her modesty was 
repeatedly offended, but does not establish the supreme 

But this offence of the Marchioness deserves undoubtedly 
to be qualified as a Public crime for the following reasons: 

Firstly, because, according to the definition of this 
crime, it is an offence in which the public is principally 
interested. It may be af&rmed that the safety of the 
King's highway is a matter concerning public interest; 
now, this crime was committed on a public highway. 

Secondly, this action cannot be considered as a private 
outrage, because it is a formal assault on the honour of 
a woman. The torture in the form of a punishment, to 
which she was subjected, delivers her up to scorn. The 
esteem in which her virtue may have been held, is not 
diminished: but it is supposed that she is covered with 
a sort of opprobrium thrust upon her by the humiliating 
insult she has received. It is a dishonour to which she 
has been subjected against her will, and which men allow 
to remain, taunting her without meaning it: they are 
unable to clear their minds of the prejudice, although 
plain reason condemns them. A woman thus outraged 
has a stain of shame upon her, which she cannot wash away. 

All the fair sex has a great interest in having a crime 
of the kind punished, so as to be safe themselves from 
such a dishonouring insult. Is it not a public crime in 
which the fairest half of the public is so deeply interested? 
Moreover men also, to whom these insulted women are 
allied by ties of blood and of marriage, are interested in 
the punishment of the offence; since the dishonour of the 
woman so insulted falls back upon them. 

%i)c ^at>\) 0f litancouttt 35 

Thirdly, the fact of the persons who committed these 
indignities being of low condition, renders the crime more 
deserving of punishment. The subordination that exists 
between a person of condition, or of lower rank, and a 
base person, gives greater atrocity to the insult; this 
subordination, which concerns public interest, having been 
violated, the crime partakes of the character of publicity. 
The Marchioness, who had chosen men of that stamp, to 
make the insult more sensible, had to undergo all the 
penalty of the crime considered from this point of view, 
because she was the author of this infamous enterprise. 

Fourthly, the law grants particular protection to the 
fair sex, on account of its weakness, of the delicacy of 
its honour, which may be attacked, and of which it may 
be deprived by violence. Its only protection is the punish- 
ment imposed upon violence and brutality. This punish- 
ment must be severe, because women have, so to say, as 
many enemies to their honour, as there are men in the 
world : they have in their hearts a baneful principle, which 
in spite of them excites ardent desire to rob them of 
their treasure. Public interest requires therefore, that 
they should, have cause to dread the penalties which 
repress these assaults. 

Public propriety, which is transgressed, and under the 
protection of which women must be able to walk abroad 
in safety, is another motive to make this a public crime. 
We terminate this famous and very interesting case with 
a copy of the verdict couched in the curious style of the time. 

" Whereas the Court having examined the criminal suit it had 
instituted, at the request of the King's Procureur G^n^ral, applicant 

36 i^latjeUation in ^vancc. 

and prosecutor, and of Dame Praii9oise de Lannoy, the spouse, but 
separated as to goods and chattels, of Messire Claude Seguier, Knight, 
Lord of the Manor of Lianoourt, received as intervening party on 
the 29th January last, on account of insults and assaults commit- 
ted on her person by the servants of Dame de Gaumont, Marchioness 
of Tresnel, by her order and in her presence; against Messire Esprit 
Juvenal de Harville des Ursins, Marquis of Tresnel, first Ensign of 
the Men-at-arms of the King's Guard; the aforesaid Dame de Gaumont, 
his wife, Damoiselle Anne de Pleury, the daughter of Jacques de 
Fleury, Equerry, Squire of Ville-Martin ; Antoine Bourcier, coachman 
to the said Dame de Tresnel ; Pierre Pourdrain, yclept la Riviere, 
Groom to the said Messire de Tresnel; Jean Baptiste, native of Saint 
Domingo, negro. Lackey to the aforesaid Dame ; Jean Botouard, 
surnamed Picard, Lackey to the said Messire de Tresnel ; a person 
dressed in red, named Lartige, Chamber valet to the said Messire de 
Tresnel; the named Marolle, Lackey, Rubi, Jassemin, and la Fatigue, 
wearing the livery of the said Messire de Tresnel, Defendants and 
accused ; the said Bourcier, Pourdrain, surnamed la Riviere, the negro 
Jean Baptiste, Betouard, surnamed Picard, and Croquet, named Magni, 
prisoners in the Conciergerie of the Palace of Justice; and the afore- 
said Dame de Tresnel, the above-named Lartige, Marolle, Rubbi, 
Jassemin, la Patigue, prisoners in the Conciergerie; the aforesaid 
Dame de Tresnel, the before-named Lartige, Marolle, Rubbi, Jassemin, 
la Patigue, defaulters and contumacious, and others. 

All things considered; it has been decided, by the Court, without 
taking into account the application of the said de Harville and of 
Pierre Cordouan, surnamed la Rivifere, of the 1st and 3rd of last 
February, nor of that of the 4th of the present month of March 
for the purpose of combined information, has declared and declares 
act of contumacy duly informed against the aforesaid de Gaumont, 
spouse of the said Harville de Tresnel, the said Marolle, Lartige, 
Jassemin, Rubbi, and la Fatigue; and estimating the damages has 
condemned and condemns the said de Gaumont to appear in full 
Court, holding session, then and there on her knees, to say and 
declare in presence of the said de Liancourt, that, wickedly, maliciously 
as ill-advised, she had with intention prepense caused to be com- 
mitted the insults and assaults notified in the suit, on the person of 
the said de Liancourt by her servants in her presence and by her 

%f)c Sabtj of giitncouvt 37 

order, of which she repents and asks pardon of her; this done, has 
banished her for ever from the jurisdiction of the High Court of 
Justice; enjoins upon her to observe this sentence under pain of death, 
condemns her to a fine of 1500 livres towards the King; and that 
the said Lartige and Marolle be taken to the King's galleys, to serve 
there as convicts for life, declare that the goods of the said Lartige 
and Marolle, situated in the country and subject to confiscation, be 
acquired and escheated to whom they may pertain. With regard to the 
said Jassemin, Rubbi and la Fatigue, they are banished for three years 
from the City, Jurisdiction and viscounty of Paris, enjoins upon them 
to observe their banishment, under penalty of the King's declaration; 
condemns them severally to pay a fine of ten livres to the said Lord 
the King; and the before named Betouard, surnamed Picard, to be 
led and conducted to the Kini.'s galleys, there to serve as convicts 
during the space of nine years; further, condemns the aforesaid de 
Gaumont, and the said Lartige, Marolle, Betuard, surnamed Picard, 
Jassemin, Rubbi and la Fatigue conjointly in 30,000 livres of damages 
to the said Dame de Liancourt. And, after that the said Fleury de 
Villemartin, to that efl"ect cited before the Court of la Tournelle, had 
been admonished, condemned him to contribute to the bread-fund of 
the prisoners of the Conoiergerie of the Palace of Justice, the sum of 
20 livres, with costs at his expense. And with regard to the charges 
against the said de Harville, Bourcier, Cordouan, surnamed la Riviere, 
Jean Baptiste, negro by nation, and Croquet, dismiss the charges 
against these pai'ties and put them out of Court and out of the suit: 
orders that the prisoners be liberated from prison, and that the 
registry of incarceration of the said Croquet be erased and struck out 
of the register; the billet of imprisonment being at the prison 
registry was returned to him, and the costs in this matter compen- 
sated to the said de Harville, Bourcier, Cordouan, surnamed la Riviere, 
Jean Baptiste, the negro, and Croquet. Further condemns the said 
de Gaumont, the said Lartige, Marolle, Rubbi, Jassemin, la Fatigue, 
Betouard, surnamed Picard, jointly in all costs, even in those incurred 
against the said de Harville, Fleury, Bourcier, Cardouan, Jean 
Baptiste and Croquet: of which the said de Gaumont is held to pay 
30,000 livres with costs as damages. And nevertheless the said 
Court orders that the sum of 30,000 livres adjudged in damages and 
costs, shall be taken on her properties, and without her husband 

38 9^lagd!attott in ^mncc. 

being able to impede the execution of the present sentence. And the 
present judgment concerning the said Dame de Gaumont, the said 
Lartige and Marolle, shall be inscribed on a tablet, which is to be 
attached to a post planted in the public square of Chauraont, as also 
on one in the Place de Greve of this City; and the other sentences 
notified in contumaciam, and of which copies being served at the 
homes or residences of the said Jassemin, Rubbi, and la Fatigue, if 
they have any, otherwise to be placarded on the gates of the Palace 
of Justice, according to rule. Done in the High Court of Justice this 
13th March 1693. And pionounced against the aforesaid Bourcier 
Gordouan surnamed la Riviere and Jean Baptiste the negro, the 18th 
of said month and year." 

One of the Ancients used to say, that at the public 
spectacles of his day, whei-e the women assisted quite 
unveiled, they were protected by public propriety. 

The severe justice, inflicted by Pope Sixtus V, for a 
much slighter insult dealt at the honour of a young girl, 
makes us likewise consider as a public crime the outrage 
committed on Madame de Liancourt. 

Under this Pontificate, a lawyer from Perugia came to 
settle in Rome. His son fell desperately in love with a 
young girl of rare beauty, and belonging to a respectable 
family; the mother of the girl was a widow. He asked 
her for the hand of her daughter, but it was refused him. 
The mother had ambitious views and wished for her child 
a nobler alliance than with an advocate's son. The young 
man, consulting only the violence of his passion, struck 
upon rather a singular means to get possession of the 
coveted prize. He watched about and having fallen in with 
her in one of the streets of Rome, lifted her veil, and 
kissed her in spite of her will and ineffectual struggles. 
This took place in the presence of the mother who accom- 
panied her, but who could not quickly enough prevent the 

^f)e ^nmu of @i$ttt!g V. 39 

amorous onslaught. He thought that this favour, wrested 
from his mistress in public, in dishonouring her, would 
force her friends to hand her over to him to wife. 

The mother went at once to the Pope to complain. The 
pope ordered that the young man should be prosecuted. 
The Colonnas— one of the first families in Rome— under 
whose protection he lived, interfered and tried to arrange 
a marriage, in order to silence Justice. The mother was 
persuaded, and the permission of the Grand Vicar of Rome 
obtained for the espousals. But the gaieties of the nuptia,! 
banquet were suddenly overclouded by the arrival of the 
Sbirri, who, under a warrant of the Governor, arrested the 
young husband, his father, and the mother of the bride. 
They were, as may be supposed, extremely uneasy. The 
young married pair was naturally more anxious than the 
others, and unable to understand why they had been thus 

The Governor informed the parents, that the Pope would 
judge the matter. 

The next day, the parents went and knelt at the feet 
of the Pope, and pleaded that the marriage had entirely 
rehabilitated the honour of the young girl. The Pope 
ordered her to be brought before him, and that the Governor 
should also appear. The latter had already privately 
received and learnt his lesson. When they were all in 
the Pontifical presence his Holiness asked the parties 
interested in the affront whether they were satisfied? 
They replied unanimously that they were. 

"I am very glad," said the Pope, "that you are satis- 
fied ; but it remains to be seen if Justice also is satisfied. 
You are disinterested, but Justice also must be consulted. " 

Then turning to the Governor he said : 

40 %iaQcUaii0n in ^vance* 

' It is to you that the interests of Justice are confided, 
are you satisfied H ° 

The Governor replied, that Justice had not received 
satisfaction for the contempt the accused had shown for 
the sovereign authority, in offering violence to an honest 
girl in the open street, and that he demanded reparation. 
Then the Pope said: 

* You may pursue until Justice has received satisfaction." 

With these words, Sixtus V dismissed the party. The 
husband was prosecuted, and condemned to the galleys, 
for having violated the respect he owed to the Sovereign 
and to the Law of the State. 

In vain did the great House of the Colonnas employ all 
their influence to obtain the pardon of this young man; 
the Pope, forgetful of the esteem and friendship that he 
entertained for that family, said to them: 

" I do not count as my friends those who importune me 
to allow crimes to remain unpunished : who take the part of 
an audacious criminal against Law and Justice which he 
has transgressed. Do you not perceive the consequence of 
the impunity of this ? A father would in vain wish to 
marry his daughter to a suitable husband; a young man, 
whose suit might not please him, would be able to marry her 
in spite of him, after having hissed her in the street. Such 
an abuse shall not exist in Rome during my pontificate.'' 
Cardinal Colonna replied, that the crime had been atoned 
by the union of both parties. " But Justice," retorted the 
Pope, ' is it satisfied ? If women are not safe in the streets 
of Rome, they will soon no longer be so in their own homes. " 

Such were the reasons he gave for his inflexibility. 

The culprit was rivetted to the convict's chain, on the 
very spot where the crime had been committed : his young 

%f)e ^nmcc of (Siting V. ii 

wife was so pierced with grief that she survived but a few 
days her husband's infamy. 

The Justice of the Pope, to preserve the honour of 
young girls, extended even to people of low condition. A 
servant-maid having been sent in the night to fetch a 
midwife, met on her way the footman of a Roman nobleman, 
who after extinguishing the candle of her lantern, attempted 
to kiss her: she cried out, and he ran away. 

Sixtus V, having been informed of this three days 
afterwards, sent for the Governor, and reproached him 
with his negligence in not having punished the offender, 
and ordered him to prosecute the footman, who was 
sentenced to be flogged the whole length of the street 
where he had tried to take that liberty. In France, such 
an action, even if it were accomplished, would be consid- 
ered only as a peccadillo: but in Italy, such is the 
severity with which the female sex is guarded, that 
enterprises of this kind are looked upon as serious crimes, 
even among persons of low condition. 

These examples prove that Sixtus V, who was a great 
Justiciary, considered an insult made to a woman in the 
street as a public crime, subject to an afflictive penalty. 

Amongst a little troop of lackeys, at the gate of the 
Tuilleries gardens, who were boasting of having taken 
liberties with ladies of quality, there was one who wagered 
that he would have the favours willy-nilly of the first 
pretty woman who should come out. This unchivalrous 
braggart carried his insolence so far as to put his hand 
beneath the petticoats of a real lady who chanced to 
make her appearance. There was a public outcry and 
he was arrested. A prosecution was set on foot, and he 

42 ^la^cUaiion in ^anu* 

was sentenced to be placed in the pillory and banished 
for a certain period. This proves, that an insult of that 
kind, committed by lackeys, in a public place, is by reason 
of these two circumstances, considered to be a public 
crime. The penalty would have been still more severe 
had it been a servant who had been guilty of this insolence 
towards his mistress. Too sharp a curb cannot be put 
upon these servants, who hold in their hands the honour 
as well as the life of the mistresses they serve. 

Some years later a sentence was given in the case of a 
woman who both in word and deed had been subjected to 
a violent outrage. The terms of the sentence tend to 
show that the Court had not considered this insult as a 
public crime. 

We give an outline of the case: 

Madame Marechal, the wife of Mr. Jean de la Brosse- 
Morlai and a lady of quality, was dissatisfied with her 
husband's conduct, whom she suspected of infidelity: she 
accused a certain M. de la Busserolle of leading him 
astray. She reproached him with this and the quarrel 
was pushed so far that la Busserolle, with the consent of 
the husband there present, so far forgot himself, as to 
throw the lady on the bed which was in the room, where 
after rudely displacing her clothes, he treated her as one 
treats a child who is subjected to ignominious chastise- 

It should be observed that de Busserolle belonged to an 
honourable family, without being a man of quality. 

The lady complained to the Parliament, the name then 
given to what we term the High Court of Justice and of 
Appeal, and the Court referred her to the Criminal-Lieute- 
nant of Souvigny. This magistrate at once began an 

%i)c ^n^MW^ ^vtm^. 43 

enquiry into the case, but died before he was able to 
bring it to a conclusion. The case was then passed on 
to the Criminal-Lieutenant of Moulins. La Busserolle was 
condemned in contumaciam on the 31st May 1728. He was 
declared to be duly attainted and found guilty of having 
proffered to Madame de la Brosse the insidting language 
mentioned in the complaint, and to having subjected her to the 
personal violence and ill-treatment also mentioned in the suit : 
in consequence, he was sentenced to the Galleys for nine years, 
and to he previously branded with the letters G.A.L. 

He lodged an appeal, which resulted in the following 
sentence being given : 

' Our Court, not taking into account the demands of Madeleine 
Marechal, formulated in her complaints of 21st February, 23rd and 
24th March 1729, nor the opposition lodged by the said Aujay de la 
Busserolle against the sentences of 13th December 1726 and 10th 
April 1728, nor his demands which are rejected, conclude that his 
appeal as well as the sentence against which appeal is made are both 
annulled: but in emendation thereof, and in reparation of the cases 
mentioned in the suit, condemns the said Aujay de la Busserolle to 
appear before the Court of the Presidial Council of Moulins, in the 
presence of the aforesaid Madeleine Mar^chal and of twelve persons 
of her own choice: and with bared head and on his knees, to say 
and declare that too boldly and unwisely did he use insulting language 
to her, and commit towards her the excesses and violence mentioned 
in the suit, for which he is sorry and begs pardon of the said 
Madeleine Marechal: he is further forbidden even to frequent those 
places where may be the said Madeleine Marechal, and he must 
withdraw from such places where he may perceive her, as also where 
she would be likely to go, or as soon as he should see her, under 
pain of corporal punishment; condemns him to pay her two thousand 
livres as damages, and all the costs, as well of the principal suits 
as of appeal, and of demands made by the said Madeleine Marechal. 
Order that the minute and the copy of the Memoir of the said Aujay 
de BusseroUe, signed by him, shall be withdrawn from the documents 

44 ^lHQcUation in ^mncc, 

concerning the case, and suppressed, that a memorandum to that 
efifeot shall be drawn up by the clerk of the Court. Authorizes the 
said Madeleine Marechal to publish and put up wherever she may 
think fit, the present sentence, at the cost and expense of the said 
Aujay de Busserolles, and to ensure execution of the same, renders 
the said Aujay prisoner of the Criminal Lieutenant of Moulins. 
Orders that the present sentence be executed. Rendered in Parliament 
of Justice, this 31st of March, 1729. 

The Court not having condemned the accused to an 
afflictive nor infamous penalty, seems to have considered 
his crime as a merely private offence, although the violence 
he had wrought interested the honour of all ladies, as well 
as the Nobility collectively. 

Two circumstances undoubtedly, weighed in the minds 
of the Judges to prevent them from esteeming this offence 
as public. Labusserole was a friend of the husband's, 
and allowed to visit the house. He had not come to the 
place with the express intention of offering this insult to 
the lady. A quarrel arose; he forgot himself in the heat 
of his anger : the place was not a public one. The second 
consideration is that he was distinctly authorised to chastise 
the woman by her own husband; and the fact of such 
authorisation having been given by the husband had since 
been the ground of a judicial separation. No cause of 
separation more justifiable could be given than the unworthy 
sanction of the husband. 

Insults offered in public places to Ladies in England 
are punished with severe penalties. The sex is the delight 
of honest people, who have the happiness to reign over 
their hearts. But would it not lose its empire, if Sentiment 

SWtti>rtme ®u fBavvt), 45 

gone, it were allowed to sink to an inferior level ? Seeing 
that sane men pride themselves on following the amiable 
laws of the Fair Sex, why do the rest desire to break 
away? If this ratiocination appear too gallant, let it be 
founded on Handsomeness of Custom ; let us say that the 
Weakness of the Sex has inspired Legislators to come to 
her help, and arm her against the strength of Insolence 
and the tyranny of Injustice. 

If the scene of flagellation last recounted had the 
Public highway for its stage, that which we now have to 
describe took place in the boudoir of a lady of high quality 
and the mistress of a king. Mr. Robt. Douglas, the author 
of 'the Life and Times of Mme du Barry" * throws dis- 
credit on the story and with an acumen wo)-thy of his 
Scotch origin actually disproves it— to his own satisfac- 
tion. We are inclined to be more sceptical. The farce 
was worthy of the haughty du Barry, and after all, we 
believe that the victim richly deserved her beating. No 
men were present, consequently there was no shame; the 
slapping was performed in the privacy of a lady's apart- 
ment; there was therefore no public scandal. Had the 
Marchioness kept her tongue quiet, the story of her casti- 
gation would in all probability not have become public 

* The curious reader will find his ingenious version of this business 
at page 240 et seq^. under the title of The King's Coffee Pot (1773). 
The entire work is amusing, and cleverly written, to boot, 

About the year 1850 a mezzotint in colours was openly sold in 
London for 10s Qd illustrative of the whipping of the Marchioness de 
Rozen based on Voltaire's anecdote. 

46 ^ia^cUaiion in Stance* 

property. But as true as it is strange, people are always 
most quick to make known themselves their own dis- 
honour. Briefly related the facts are as follows: 

The Marchioness of Rozen, one of the attendants of the 
Countess of Provence, had for some time paid assiduous 
court to Madame du Barry. The latter liked her much ; 
and they hecame intimate friends. The Marchioness was 
young and handsome, and had the air of a child. This 
observation is necessary. The Countess did not forget to 
invite her to a splendid entertainment. Madame de Rozen 
went, but shortly after broke off all connection with her 
friend, or, at least, shewed her great coolness. This was 
probably owing to the Princess, whom she had the honour 
to serve, and who had severely reproached her for her 
attention to a female so much the subject of public 
censure; especially for her being noticed by the Court as 
being present at her entertainments. 

Whatever might have been the cause, the Countess was 
not insensible to the change. She complained to the 
King, who made a jest of the matter, saying the Mar- 
chioness was but a child, for whom a rod was the fittest 
punishment. Madame du Barry took the King's words in 
the literal and most rigorous sense. 

The Marchioness called on her one morning, and after 
they had breakfasted in a friendly manner together, the 
favourite invited her into her closet, as if she had something 
particular to tell her. That moment four lusty chamber- 
maids seized upon the poor criminal, and throwing her 
clothes over her head whipt her soundly on a part of her 
body where, generally, naughty children only are chastised. 
The sufferer, smarting sorely under the indignity and 
boiling with rage, complained to the Sovereign, who 

9?irti>rtme ®u 25rtt?v>j. 47 

had nothing to reply when his mistress reminded him 
that she had no more than executed the sentence of his 

He ended by laughing at the affair; and Madame de 
Rozen, by the advice of the Duke d'Aiguillon, revisited 
the Countess. After some raillery on the flagellated pos- 
teriors, which confirmed the anecdote, the two friends 
embraced, and agreed to bury all in oblivion. Our readers 
will agree that both the beating and the reconciliation was 
the most sensible thing that could have happened. — 


The du Barry affair reminds us of a similar adventure 
that befell the Chevalier de Boufflers, and which is given 
on the authority of "La Chronique Scandaleuse." * The 
chief difference is that our Chevalier with a man's wit 
and courage was actually able, there and then, to turn the 
table on his tormentress and have the self-same punishment 
meted out to her by her own servants. 

Against a certain Marchioness of the time— we see that 
Marchionesses play a large part in beatings, or were 
woman of humbler origin as severely fustigated and no 
records taken of their discomfiture owing to the lowness 
of their station? — the Chevalier had launched a biting 
epigram, which had succeeded in obtaining some notoriety. 
Some while afterwards, the great lady who had kept 

* ' La Chronique Scandaleuse, ou m^moires pour servir a 1' Histoire 
de la Gdn^ration Presente. Paris. Dans un coin d'oii Ton volt tout. 
1789 (in-16, tome III p. 11—13). 

We remember to have seen a pair of very fine old aquarelles by 
Amed^e Vignola representing this subject, the actors being attired in 
costume of the time. 

48 ^laQcUatiott in ^vanu* 

discreetly quiet, solicited a reconciliation and invited him 
to seal it by his presence at her supper-table. He went, 
but with pistols in his pockets like a prudent man, knowing 
the character of his hostess. Hardly had he arrived than 
he was laid hold of by four stoutly-built men-servants, who, 
under the eyes of the Marchioness bruised that portion of 
his frame adjacent to the hips, with fifty well-plied strokes 
of the birch. He bore his punishment with stoicism until 
the last blow. The noble dame had hitherto had it all 
her own way. But the doubtful comedy now took on a 
complexion she had little bargained for and certainly had 
not foreseen. 

BoufBers got up, adjusted his dress with perfect cold- 
ness, then drawing his 'shooters' from his pocket and 
pointing them deliberately at the now-frightened lackeys 
ordered them to render to their mistress that which they 
had just, at her commands, applied to him. There was 
no help but to comply. On the one hand, the lady's 
screams and imprecations; on the other, the cold, stern 
face of the outraged Chevalier, and the treacherous muzzles 
of his pistols that knew nothing of mis-placed sentiment . . . 
We will drop the curtain on the scene and forbear our 
readers unnecessary details. These may be better imagined. 
The Chevalier scrupulously counted the blows .... The 
Marchioness once dealt with and handed over to her maids, 
it was now the hour of the lackeys. To be brief, we 
may mention that they all fell under the smarting of the 
birch, being made to whip each other in succession. 
When the last blow was struck, the Chevalier saluted 
gracefully and walked out. 

This history has been celebrated by a very clever 
Englishman, in a long poem entitled "The Reprisals." 

The names in the poem are of course fictitious, and 
several little poetical licences have been taken with facts 
which the " Chronique Scandaleuse" hardly authorises. 
These faults will be forgiven for the beauty and vigour 
of the lines. We quote the opening only, and must refer 
the student to the poem itself for the rest, should he 
desire to see it in its entirety. 

Eleven had tolled, 
The night was cold, 
And the rain it fell fast, 
As the Count de Guise, 
Exclaimed with a sneeze, 
"I'm pretty well soaked at last!" 
Soaked were his shoulders, his knees, and his toes; 
Soaked were his mantle, his doublet, his hose. 
He had gotten beside a cold in his nose; 
Tet blythe and gay was he. 
For the lady Constance, 
The fairest in France, 
Was expecting his good company 
At a snug t§te-a-t§te, to make love and drink tea. 
So in spite of his cold and the unpleasant weather 
The count de Guise was in very high feather. 
Through square and through lane 
He walks in the rain, 
Till he comes to a " grand Hotel ; " 
To a postern he hies. 
And the entrance tries; 
First at the lock. 
Next with a knock. 
Thirdly and last with a pull at the bell. 
The wicket opes, 
And onward he gropes 
Up a stair quite as steep as a ladder of ropes ; 
When a sly little page, with the slyest of grins. 
Shews a light, and observes, " Its sharp work for the shins," 


50 ^laQcliation in ^vnncc* 

Monsieur de Guise never heeds the remark, 
But stumbles and bungles up stairs in the dark 
And after some half-dozen bruises or more, 
At which cavaliers less well-bred would have swore 
He raises the latch of a baize covered door. 
The change from daik and gloomy night 
To sudden blaze of brilliant light. 
Bothers the brain and bewilders the sight 
'Twas so with De Guise — 
He winks, 
And he blinks, 
Rubs his eyes till he sees 
His mistress — then drops down at once on both knees 
Sure never had monarch beheld such a prize ! 
On a gilded couch the lady lies. 
And bends on her lover her beaming eyes — 
With snowy brow, and snowy breast. 
Silken hair and silken vest. 
And mantle rich and rare; 
While her faithful robes contrive to show 
More of her leg than is quite ^ comme il faut" — 
Gems and jewels met his gaze, 
'Mid the diamond's varying rays ; 
And orient pearls 
Twined in the curls, 
Hang from her dark and luxuriant hair, 
But fairer than pearls or satin I ween, 
Is the dazzling hue of that lady's skin. 
She bids the suppliant rise. 
He has scarcely time to get on his feet, 
Brush up his hair, and make himself neat, 
And say a few things, smart, pretty, and sweet. 
E'er four brawny rogues in yellow breeches 
Collar the Count and stop all his fine speeches. 
For his pistols he feels, 
But they trip up his heels. 
And spite of resistance, in spite of his squals. 
They whip off his doublets, his cloak, and his "smalls," 

©l^ctJrtliet? be ©ottfflefg. 51 

' Ha, lia, Sir Count ! " tlae Duchess cries, 
As joy and triumph light her eyes, 
"We meet as it is fit; 
Your bolt is sped, 
Your jest is dead, 
I've felt your bitterest wit. 
You little dreamt when, with sneering rail, 
You called me fair, but monstrous frail; 
That I so sooji should learn the tale — 
Thine was the laugh — the victory thine, 
And Heaven, Sir Count, now sends me mine." 
Away to the bed 
He is instantly led. 
And they hold down his arms, his legs, and his head, 
While one of the dogs 
Most inhumanly flogs 
His rump, till he roars fit to waken the dead; 
And the Duchess she laughs and screams at the fun. 
Till the tears down her cheeks in streamlets run. 
At length she stays this practical joke. 
And the Count is allowed to rise. 

The next incident we have to note affords a curious 
glimpse of Paris in its most democratic centre, we mean 
Les Halles Centrales, or head-market place. The women 
who ply their trades here hail from all parts of France. 
Their lightest reason when insulted is a heavy blow. 
Woe betide the woman, or man either, who has the 
misfortune to fall beneath the rude stinging of their 
tongue ! 

Theroigne de Mericourt was a lady who, like, for instance, 
Annie Besant of our own times, used her eloquence in 
the cause of the people and managed to make herself — 
misunderstood. In the present time popular misunder- 

52 ^iaQcUation in ^vame* 

standings can always be rectified in the public journals. 
The orator who has failed to make himself clear at the 
hustings, may, within a few hours, give an account of 
himself and his intentions in the Press. Those days were 
stormier and more impetuous. The suspected one was seized 
at one o'clock, tried at two, and executed an hour later. 
We have not the slightest intention of reviewing the 
history of that period. The task has been done by many 
writers with ability and — ad nauseam. 

We prefer to let M. Pellet who has written an admir- 
able little monograph on this famous woman, relate the 
scene in his own words. 

" When Theroigne appeared at ten o'clock to assist at 
the sitting, she was insulted by these viragos. But the 
handsome LiSgeoise was not one to be easily intimidated. 

" She first endeavoured to regain her influence over these 
women who had, no doubt, two or three years previously, 
been her companions in the expedition to Versailles. But, 
surrounded by a circle of furies, she threatened to make 
them, sooner or later, bite the dust. 

" The ' tricoteuses,^ calling her ' Brissotine,' * seized her 
bodily, and while one of them lifted up her petticoats, 
the others whipped her naked body." f 

This summary and indecent fustigation was in the 
custom of the period. The street beldames had often 
inflicted this rude method of ready punishment on aristo- 
cratical looking women, or on nuns who had remained 
faithful to their professional dress. One need but refer to 
the numerous engravings of the period, particularly to those 

* The Conventionnel Brissot liad denounced the disorderly state of 
the streets, and the overhearing insolence of the mob. 

t 'Rapport in^dit des archives," Rioolution de Paris, No. 201. 

9tet>olutton %ime^. 53 

which illustrate nos. 74 and 99 of the Revolutions de 
France ■ et de Brabant. As concerns Theroigne, Restif de 
la Bretonne, in his Annie des Dames nationales, 1794, vol, 
VI, p. 3807, relating the scene on the terrace of the 
Feuillants, says that the beautiful L'dgeoise, had " her 
bottom whipped at Saint Eustache, by the market women, 
because she wanted to force them to wear the tricolor 
cockade." It is difficult to accumulate more inaccuracies 
in three lines. 

Theroigne, while submitting to this outrage howled with 
rage, in the midst of the crowd which jeered and laughed 
at her without pity. Her haughty pride, so masculine 
beneath the exterior of an elegant woman, received a 
cruel blow from this barbarous treatment. The fearless 
heroine, who had never paled at the whistling of the 
bullets on the 14th of July and the 10th of August, by 
being whipped like a child, in broad daylight, in the presence 
of that people for whose freedom she had devoted her life, 
received a shock from which her mind never recovered. 


This subject is so extensive and has been so ably 
handled that no apology is needed for passing it over very 
rapidly. Few people would suspect Ogilvie's " Imperial 
English Dictionary" to be any authority on this head, 
aud yet such is the fact. Turning up the word " flagel- 
lation" in the last edition of that useful work we find 
mention made of " a fanatical sect founded in Italy A.D. 

54 ^(ageUation in ^vanu, 

1260 who maintained that flagellation was of equal virtue 
with baptism and the sacrament. They walked in proces- 
sion with shoulders bare, and whipped themselves till the 
blood ran down their bodies, to obtain the mercy of God 
and appease his wrath against the vices of the age." 

We have no room here for theological discussions. The 
doors of thirty thousand temples throughout Christendom 
are thrown open every seventh day for no other purpose. 
All stable error stands against a back-ground of truth. 
The abuses of religious flagellation become all the more 
serious because of the teaching intertwined so to speak 
in the very whips and scourges used to scar the backs 
and loins of the fair penitents. Chastised with the object 
of diminishing lascivious inclinations, the blows as a phy- 
siological necessity had the contrary efi'ect of increasing 
animal heat. Hence have arisen those cases of scandal, 
shame, and seduction, the constant recurrence of which 
have astounded Society. 

The danger of allowing celibate priests to whip young, 
unmarried girls and women, vowed to a life of chastity, 
is founded upon known principles of human nature. The 
peril for both the active and passive parties is so glaring 
that we wonder it was not taken into account. And yet 
the custom was widespread. Wherever Christianity had 
authority the priests were empowered to exercise flagel- 
lation on themselves, and on the skins of those under 
their spiritual charge. No subtle reasoning is required to 
conclude that the power of the birch was more often 
applied to the backs of the latter. It was only natural 
that it should be so. Far more satisfaction we believe, 
may be obtained in thrashing the bodies of others than of 
ourselves. The sight-of a beloved being wriggling, twisting, 

groaning and supplicating for pity cannot but be a grati- 
fying spectacle when it is remembered that the chastise- 
ment is for the good of the soul. To spare the penitent 
was to spoil her. To mitigate any part of the whipping, 
however shameful and degrading, here, was only to lay 
up heavier rods for her back in another world. Christian 
logic prevailed as it always will prevail when it has 
numbers on its side — and men howled as they prayed, and 
charming girls and beautiful women under false notions 
of piety went on bearing the pain, beseeching, shrieking, 
pleading, consenting to shame and degradation for the 
greater glory of God and the Salvation of their souls. 
These practices have not wholly died out. In quiet cloister 
and secluded nunnery the same scenes are still enacted, 
and women still allow themselves to be deluded by this 
terrible imposture. Noble and high-minded creatures in 
most cases, how sorry are we for them, for it means 
sisters and daughters lost at the hearth-side, and charming 
gentle-souled sweethearts who would have made under nor- 
mal conditions excellent mothers of our race. 

Delolme says : 

" The power of Confessors of disciplining their penitents, 
became in process of time so generally acknowledged, that 
it obtained even with respect to persons who made pro- 
fession of the Ecclesiastical life, and superseded the laws 
that had been made against those who should strike an 
Ecclesiastic .... Attempts were, however, made to put a 
stop to these practices of Priest and Confessors; and so 
early as under Pope Adrian I, who was raised to the 
purple in the year 772 (which by the by shews that the 
power assumed by Confessors, was pretty ancient), a 
regulation was made to forbid Confessors to beat their 

56 ^laQcUation in ^vanu. 

Penitents: Episcopus Preshiter aut Diaconus peccantes fideles 
diverberare non debeant* But this regulation proved useless : 
the whole tribe of Priests, as well as the first Dignitaries 
of the Church, nevertheless continued to preach up the 
prerogatives of Confessors and the merit of flagellations ; etc. " 

Fathers Adriaensen and Girard were both distinguished 
as amateurs of the birch, applying this estimable weapon 
to the backs ot their charges with no light hand. The 
scandals that their conduct occasioned, the seduction and 
ruin by the latter of Marie C. Cadiere, and the exciting 
prosecution that it gave rise to, it is no part of our 
business to go into here, f We introduce their names here 
merely to state that these men were ardent advocates of 
the doctrine that discipline should be applied to the naked § 
bodies of their penitents. A long list, indeed, might easily 
be made of priests who have held the doctrine inculcated 
by Cardinal Pullus that the nakedness of the penitent 

* Whereas Bishop, Priest or Deacon ought not to thrash the faulty 

t Full particulars are given in that extraordinary book Cbntubia 
LiBEOBUM Absoonditokum; by Pisakus Pkaxi; one of the most remark- 
able bibliographies ever printed. (Lond. 1879). 

§ Dr. Millingen in ' Curiosities of Medical Experience " says : 

" In the monastic orders of both sexes, flagellation became a refined 
art. Flagellation was of two species, the upper and the lower; the 
upper inflicted upon the shoulders, the lower chiefly resorted to when 
females were to be fustigated. This mode was adopted, according to 
their assertions, from the accidents that might have happened in the 
upper flagellation, where the twisting lash might have injured the 
sensitive bosom. In addition to this device, nudity was also insisted 
upon." (London, 1839, page 313). 

IReligtoMg mf)ipp\nd^, 57 

was an additional merit in the eyes of God : Est ergo 
satisf actio quoedain, aspera tamen, sed Deo tanto gratior 
quanta humilior, cum guilibet sacerdotis prostratus ad pedes 
se ccedendum virgis exhibet nudum. * Passing over, as foreign 
to our immediate purpose, such holy men as St. Edmund, 
Bishop of Canterbury, the Capucin Brother Matthew of 
Avignon, and Beknaedin of Sienna, who chastised in 
femoribus, clunibus, ac scapulis, f the several women who 
had tempted them to carnal sin, I may, with appropriateness, 
note the following; Abelakd took delight in the recollection 
of the corrections he had given to his pupil Heloise; the 
Jesuit, Johannes Ackerbom, was caught whipping a young 
girl who had come to confess to him — flagellabat virginem 
ut nudain conspiceret; his companion, Petrus Wills, merrily 
followed his example — f rater, ejus socius ludendi, flagellandi, 
potitandi, aderat; § Peter Gersen was even less discrim- 
inate — virgines suas nudas caedebat flagris in agris. 
quale speculum ac spectaculum, videre virgunculas pidcher- 
rimasimas.** To these I might add Fathers Nunnez and 
Malageida, who had much influence over the ladies at 
the courts of which they were the confessors, and used 
the discipline with diligence. We have yet a more 

* Wherefore there is a certain hitter-sweet satisfaction, yet one 
that is all the more pleasant unto God as it is humiliating to man, 
when a penitent lying at the feet of a priest, offers his naked body 
to be beaten with rods. 

t On thighs, buttocks and shoulder-blades. 

§ He was whipping a maid, to have the opportunity of seeing her 
naked. — He had a brother, his companion in his amusements, his 
whippings and his tipplings. 

** The maidens, his penitents, he would strip naked and thrash 
with his lash in the open fields. Oh ! what a spectacle, how respectable, 
— to watch the well-made maids, to see the sweet little lassies I 

58 ^ia^cUaiion in ^vanu, 

remarkable modern instance in the Capucin Monk P. 
AcHA.zius of Diiren, who emulated very closely brother 
Cornelis, forming a kind of society of women who were 
foolish enough to submit to his caprices; he did not 
however, like Adriaensen, confine himself to flagellating 
them while in a state of nudity, but he satisfied his lust 
to the last degree. When his practices were discovered, 
the scandal was, by order of Napoleon, sniothered as far 
as possible; and although the matter came afterwards 
before the court of Liege, it was, in deference to the 
families compromised, suppressed. 

Achazius had not the advantage of a handsome person : 
" His manners were as satyr-like as his features were 
objectionable, and the fame of his eloquence and exem- 
plar}' piety convincing." 

His proceedings with one of his penitents are thus 
described : " As the maiden had sufficient elegant charms 
to awaken the appetite of the father, he proposed a 
spiritual exercise to her which she readily accepted. After 
full confession she was obliged to go on her knees to 
Achazius and humbly crave pardon, and then uncover 
herself to the waist. The father thereupon took a stout 
cane and beat her with it ; finally he satisfied his beastly 
lust upon her. On leaving she had to promise to bring 
other women of her acquaintance to him. This she did 
indeed effect, beginning with some of her elder friends, 
mostly younger married women in order to pave the way. In 
the same manner they managed to drag a number of other 
priests into the affair. Little by little a real Adamite 

mmQion^ S&ffippinQ§, 59 

flagellant club was formed, in which the most horrible 
things took place, and which would make us blush to 
write down." 

One of the women, the wife of a paper-maker, who 
gave evidence against him, when asked how it was possible 
that she could have given herself up to such an ill- 
favoured, filthy, fellow as Achazius, replied: "That he 
had altogether bewitched her, so that she felt bound "to 
him with endless attachment, and childlike without a will 
of her own, giving herself up to whatever he ordained; 
he flogged her so severely with supple birchen rods— he 
kept them steeped in vinegar and salt^that she was 
sometimes forced, under some pretext or another to keep 
to her bed for more than three weeks." 

The other things divulged by this lady cannot be com- 
municated, but they would have done credit to the imagina- 
tion even of the author of " Justine. " 

Achazius's only punishment was confinement for life in 
a monastery. * 

The Devil himself was an Amateur of flagellation, and 

* We give the original for the benefit of German scholars: 

,@o fauntjc^ fetne 3Jiotiiei-cn, jo l)n6[ic£i feine ©eficfitSaUge tenren, \o 

iibevjeugenb roar ber Stuf Bon jeinev S3ereb)am!eit unb esemplarij^en 5rom= 


„®o bie 3ung[rau noc^ ^taMxitjt Stetae genug bcfafe, urn ben ?Ip()elit be§ 
'^aittS au roerfen, jo jc^Iug ec tf)v cine ^nbac(|t 6or, in jte jie al§6alb cin= 
ging. ^ad) boI6rac^ter Select mufete jie Dot «c^aaiu§ nieberfnien unb 

60 ^laQcHaiion in ^vanu* 

keen on the business too, if the Lives of the Saints are 
to be credited. " Amongst the various motives that induced 
the evil one to pay his sinister visits to frail mortality, 
that of inflicting upon them a salutary, or a vexatious 
fustigation, is frequently recorded by the fathers and other 
writers. It was more especially upon the backs of saints 
that this castigation took place. St. Athanasius informs 
us that St. Anthony was frequently flagellated by the 
devil. St. Jerome states that St. Hilarius was often 
whipped in a similar manner; and he calls the-devil 'a 
wanton gladiator,' and thus describes his modes of punish- 
ment: 'Insidit dorso ejus festivus gladiator; et latera 
calcibus, et cervicem flagello verberans.' * Grimalaicus, a 
learned divine, confirms the fact in the following passage : 
' Nunumquam autem et aperta impugnatione grassantes. 

bemUtljig SJerjei^ung fur ifite Silnben erjle^en, barouf [ic^ Bi§ on bie 
3}ieten entblofeen. ®er 5Patev nafim nun eine grofee 3{utf|e unb I)ieb fie 
bamit; enblid^ bcfriebigte er feine itiiertfi^e Cufi an ifir. ©te mufete betm 
Sovtgcfien berfprei^en, au(^ anbere grauenjimmer ilirer 93e!anntfcfiaft ju geh)tn= 
nen. ®ie§ gefd^af) in ber SE^at; niit einigen grcunbinen Don tioxgerucEtem 
Sitter matb ber Slnfang gemac^t unb baburc^ auc^ ber SBeg ju jilngcrn 
nieift uer^eivattiEten, geba^nt. gbenfo teufete man eine ^Injofil anberer ®eift= 
lit^en in bie ©acfie 3U jietien. StHmfitjIig bitbcte fit^ ein fbrmtii^er Slbamiftifi^er 
fftagellantenttub, wovin at(e§ griiulic^e getricSen hiavb, wo§ nieberjufi^reiben 
roir errot^en tolirben." 

„5DerfeI6e t)atte fie gonj fiejaubert, fo bafe fie mit unenblic^er SKetgung i^ni 
jugcttian worben unb wiUentoS, wie ein fi'inb, ju attem fid^ tiergegeben §a6e ; 
mit ben getteifiten SRuttjen, et ^abe fie fo gefd^tagen, bofe fie biireeiten gejwungen 
gelnefen fci, untet irgenb einent onbern SJormanbe iiier bvei SCocfien tang ba§ 
93ctte 3U fiiiten. ®ie iibrigen Singe, tortifie bie Same angab, finb nicfit mitt§eit= 
bar, boc^ ma^m fie felbft ber 5p£)antafie ber (sic) ?tutor§ ber Suftine gfjre." 

* * Then the merry ruffian seated himself on his back, belabouring 
his ribs with his heels and the nape of his neck with a cudgel." 

JRellgiottg SS^i^^ingg, 61 

dsemones humana corpora verberant, sicut B. Antonio 
fecerant.' * St. Francis of Assissi received a dreadful 
flogging from the devil the very first night he came to 
Rome, which caused him to quit that city forthwith." The 
Abbe Boileau's remarks on this circumstance savour not 
a little of impiety and freethinking, for he says. " It is 
not unlikely that, having met with a colder reception 
than he judged his sanctity entitled him to, he thought 
proper to decamp immediately, and when he returned to 
his convent told the above story to his brother monks." 
Howbeit, the Abbe Boileau is no authority, and it is to 
be feared that, partaking of the satirical disposition of 
his brother, he sacrificed piety to wit ; for it is well 
known, beyond the power of sceptic doubts, that the 
aforesaid saint's assertion cannot possibly be impugned 
by proper believers. His power over the fiery elements 
was established; whereby he possessed the faculty of 
curing erysipelas, honoured by the appellation of St. 
Anthony's fire. In the like manner St. Hubert cured 
hydrophobia, and St. John the epilepsy. 

It is, however, pleasing to know that it was not always 
that the beatified succumbed to these Satanic pranks. 
Woman's will sometimes won the day over the "old 
gentleman" at these bouts of birch. Many instances are 
recorded of the devil's being worsted in these sacrilegious 
amusements, as fully appears in the history of the blessed 
Cornelia Juliana, in whose room, one day, says' her history, 
"the other nuns heard a prodigious noise, which turned 
out to be a strife she had had with the devil, whom. 

* " Moreover sometimes devils attack human beings in open assault 
and beat them bodily, as they did to Saint Anthony." 

62 ^ia^eiUtion in ^tanu, 

after having laid hold of him, she fustigated most unmer- 
cifully; she, having him upon the ground, she trampled 
upon him with her foot, and ridiculed him in the most 
bitter manner {lacerabat sarcasmis)." This occurrence is 
incontrovertible, being affirmed by that learned and pious 
Jesuit, Bartholomew Fisen. 

This partiality of devils for flagellation can most prob- 
ably be attributed to their horribly jealous disposition ; 
for it is well known that the saints took great delight 
in fustigating, not only those who offended jthem, but 
their most faithful votaries. Flagellation was therefore 
the most grateful punishment that could be inflicted to 
propitiate the beatified; and we have several well authen- 
ticated facts which prove that the Virgin was frequently 
appeased by this practice. Under the pontificate of Sextus 
VI, a heterodox professor of Divinity, who had written 
against the tabernacle and denied the Immaculate Concep- 
tion, was flogged publicly by a brawny pious cordelier 
friar, to the great edification of the by-standers, more 
particularly the ladies. 

The description of this operation loses materially by 
translation, I therefore give it in the orginal and have 
followed it with as close a rendering as is possible. 

" Apprehendens ipsum revolvit super ejus genua; erat 
enim valdh fortis. Elevatis itaque pannis, quia ilJe minister 
contra sanctum Dei tabernaculum locutus fuerat, ccepit eum 
palmis percutere super quadrata tabernacula qvce erant nuda, 
non enim hahehat femoralia vel antiphonam: et quia ipse 
infam.are voluerat beatam Virginem, allegando forsitan Ari- 
siotelem in libra priormn, iste prcedicator ilium confutavit 
legendo in libra ejus posteriorum: de hac autem amnes qui 
aderant gaudebant. Tunc exclamarit qiiwdam devatamulier, 

DteUdiou!^ ^^\fp\n^. 63 

dicetis, 'Domine Prcedicator, detis ei alios quatuor palmatus 
pro me; et alia postmodum dixit, ' Detis ei etiam quatuor; 
sicque multm alice rogabant, ita quod si illarum petitionibvs 
safisfacere voluisset, per totum diem aliud facere non 
potuisset. " 

"Seising bim, be laib bim across bis ftnces; for 
be was esceebinglis strong. Hnb tben lifting up 
bis clotbes, because tbougb a minister of 606 be 
bab spoften against (Bob's Ibolp XCabernacle, be began 
to beat bim vigorously witb bis open banbs on 
bis sturb^ buttocfts (tabernacula), wbicb were bare, 
for be bab neitber brawers nor clout (antipbona) ; 
anb again, wbereas be bab tbougbt goobtobefame 
tbe asiesseb Dirgin b's quoting Hristotle, as it 
appears, in tbe booft of tbe '1P1R501R HlRHXl^UJcrS', 
be confuteb bim bi? reabing a passage in tbe same 
writer's booft of tbe 'lp®STrB1R3®1R HlfiHXlUJCS'; 
anb at tbis all present were overjo^eb. Uben a 
certain pious lab^ crieb out, saving : * Sir preacber! 
give bim four more smacfts for me'; anb tben 
presently anotber saib, '(5ive bim four more!' anb 
tben man^ otber labies repeateb tbe request again 
anb again,- in fact so often tbat if be bab consenteb 
to satisfy all tbeir petitions, be woulb bave bab 
no time all bas long to bo an^tbing else." * 

We need not seek for similar instances of the mighty 
power of proper fustigation in foreign parts. The Annals 
of Wales record a singular instance of the kind, which 

* It is very difficult to give in English exactly the force of the 
play upon words as in the Latin text. 

64 ^la^cllaiion in ^vame, 

happened in the year 1188, as related by Silvester Gerald, 
in such a circumstantial manner that the most obdurate 
incredulity alone could doubt the fact: 

"On the other side of the river Humber," he says, "in 
the parish of Hoeden, lived the rector of that church, 
with his concubine. This concubine, one day, sat rather 
imprudently on the tomb of St. Osanna, sister to king 
Osred, which was made of wood, and raised above the 
ground in the shape of a seat: when she attempted to 
rise from that place, she stuck to the wood in such a 
manner that she could not be parted from it, till, in the 
presence of the people who flocked to see her, she had 
suffered her clothes to be torn from her, and had received 
a severe discipline on her naked body, and that too to a 
great effusion of blood, and with many tears and devout sup- 
plications on her part; which done, and after she had engaged 
to submit to further penitence, she was divinely released. " 

If all concubines and kept mistresses were treated in 
the same way, wives would soon get back their own. 

In this instance, as in many others, freedoyn from vulgar 
habiliments appears to have been considered as acceptable 
to Heaven ; so much so, indeed, that the state of greater 
or lesser nudity has been commensurate with the degree 
of the offence. 

The Cynic philosophers of Greece, among whom Diogenes 
made himself most conspicuous, used to appear in public 
without a rag upon them. The Indian wise men, called 
gymnosophists, or naked sages, indulged in the same 

In more modern times, the Adamites appeared in the 
simple condition of our first father. 

In the 13th century, a sect called Les Turlupins (a 

denomination which appears to have been an opprobrious 
nickname), perambulated France, disencumbered of vain 
accoutrements; and, in 1535, some Anabaptists made an 
excursion in Amsterdam in the condition in which they 
had quitted their baths, for which breach of decorum the 
impious burgomasters had them bastinadoed. 

We further read of one Friar Juniperus, a worthy 
Franciscan, who, according to history, " entered the town 
of Viterbod, and while he stood within the gate, he put 
his hose on his head, and his gown being tied round his 
neck in the shape of a load, he walked through the streets 
of the town, where he suffered much abuse and maltreat- 
ment from the wicked inhabitants ; and, still in the same 
situation, he went to the convent of the brother ■, who all 
exclaimed against him, but he cared little for them, so holy 
was the good little brother {tarn sanctus fuitistefraticellus)." 

The pranks of brother Junipe have been performed at 
sundry periods by various holy men. Are we not war- 
ranted in conceiving that these individuals were dsemono- 
maniacs? for surely the devil alone could have inspired 
them with such fancies, although Cardinal Damian defends 
the practice in the following terms, when speaking of the 
day of judgment : " Then shall the sun lose its lustre, 
the moon shall be involved in darkness; the stars shall 
fall from their places, and all the elements be confounded 
together; of what service then loill be to you those clothes 
and garments with which you are now covered, and which 
you refuse to lay aside, to submit to the exercise of peni- 

It must be remarked, in extenuation of these exhibitions, 
that they were accompanied by flagellation; which some- 
times bore a close analogy to those of the Saturnalia and 


66 ^la^ciiation in ^vance, 

Lupercalia, and the discipline of the flagellants was not 
always dissimilar to that of the Luperci." * 

The abuses connected with monastic life have often 
been laid bare. Protestants, with true Christian charity, 
delight in nothing better than in exposing the imperfec- 
tions of their brethen of the Catholic church. In a little 
book, the contents of which bear the appearance of 
truth as names and dates are given in full, it is stated that: 

The greatest evil in convents, notably among the ° English 
Nuns," is the flogging with birches on the naked body, 
which, as has been observed by medical men, contributes 
largely to the excitation of sexual desire, but which being 
unable to find satisfaction in a natural manner, mostly 
tends in cloisters to self-pollution and to homosexual vice, 
the girls one with another, and often even between teachers 
and pupils. This is no slander on the convents; many 
ladies, who had been educated by the nuns, have later, 
when they had left them and been married, divulged what 
takes place in the Nunneries, f 

The last incident we shall attempt to notice of a religious 

* Dr. J. G. Millingen, (pages 160-2 of work quoted). 

t We give tlie original of tliis passage for those tvIio may not have 
access to a copy of the work. 

®cr grij^te UeJelfianb in ben j^lbftern, nomentIi(i^ auc^ Bei ben 
engliii^en SrfiuteinS, ifl ba§ 5pettf(i^en mit ber SRutle ouf ben nadten Cetb 
was, tote bie§ cirjtliiJ^ conftatirl ift, je^t Diet jur Slufftac^elung be§ gejc^Ied^fs 
lichen jEriebeS beitrogt, ba oBet biefer auf eine natUrlic^c aSeife nid^t I>efriebigt 
toerben !onn, reigt in ben Sloftern am Bfterften ©clbftbefleiiung unb JiomofejueUe 
UnjucEit ber JKabc^en untereinanber, manc^mal fogar atoijc^en Cefjrexinen 
unb ©(^illerinen, ein. S>ie§ ift leine SBerlcumbung ber iRonnenflBfter, jelit 
biele S)amen, bie 6ei ben SRonnen erjogen toorben, ^aben ipfitcr, oI§ fie 

nature in the whipping line is that connected with what 
was known as the Sect of the Fareinistes and which was 
famous for its flagellating propensities. The head and 
soul of this movement were two priests, the brothers 
Bonjour. The sect flourished towards the close of the 18th 
century, and created at the time much sensation. How 
and by what process of reasoning these gentlemen came 
to consider the beating of women so important we have 
no means of ascertaining. Certain it is that the women 
of their Parish were amongst their most ardent followersr 

They used to meet in a barn near the church and there 
with little or no light beat each other in a mild sort of 
way. The influence gained over the female devotees was 
enormous, and called forth the just complaints of their 
neglected lords who failed to see why the home should 
be deserted that their, wives might get their backs beaten 
by priests. The women went so far as to stop their 
spiritual pastors in the fields and implore them for chastise- 
ment on the spot; 

" Good father Bonjour, ' they would say, ° pray give us 
a beating! Do give us a little flagellation." 

And then would come the ridiculous spectacle of a 
priest chasing a woman with raised clothes round an open 
field to chastise her after the fashion of a child! 

Can human imbecility, or misguided zeal render itself 
more stupid ! But, " tout passe ; tout lasse ; tout casse, ' 
runs the old French saying, and so it happened with these 

:^erau§ tamen unb |i(^ ser^eirat^eten, ba§, wa§ in ben JtonnenKoftern gejii^ie:^*, 

Extract from S|5faffenunU)c[cn, SBliimSSfconiioIc unt> SBonncnlJiuf. SJcitrag 
3UC 9loturgefc^i(|te be§ J?at^oItd§mu§ unb ber filoftev Don Cucifer SHuniinotor. 
SeipjtB 1872. ©uftad ©cdulje. 

68 ^ia^cUatiDti in ^vame* 

back-thumping, posterior-slashing priests. We have no 
wish to follow the varying fortunes of the little sect. 
Very few of our readers we suspect, would thank us for 
our pains. SufBce it to say that a fairly important and 
esteemed inhabitant of this little village^ having proved 
himself particularly antagonistic to the worthy fathers' 
mission, died suddenly in his bed from a needle-thrust in 
the heart. Was it due to accident, or foul play? Tradi- 
tion recordeth not. Madame Rumour's loud tongue however 
said 'foul play," and complaints reached the- Archbishop 
of Trevoux, with the result that the one brother was 
exiled, and the second imprisoned in the Convent of Toulay 
from which he escaped to Paris. After some further 
adventures and peregrinations of no interest to our subject, 
the good fathers died at an advanced age at Lausanne 
in Switzerland in a state of poverty, and with them died 
out the flagellating sect that their heterodox brains had 
given birth to. 

It is not in our province to offer any summing up with 
regard to those practices, nor do we, for one moment 
pretend to have touched more than the fringe of the sub- 
ject. Our opinions are pretty patent, we imagine, in the 
text. Besides anything we could say would be feeble to 
the following fine outburst of Michelet, which must con- 
clude our observations anent birching as a means of reli- 
gious grace. 

' What ! -when even in the bagnios, the law forbids to 
inflict stripes upon robbers, murderers, upon the most 
ferocious of men, -you, men of God's grace, who open your 
mouths but to speak of charity, of the good holy virgin and 

aieU^lottiS fi&f)\pp'm0, 69 

of gentle Jesus, you beat women . . . what do I say, girls 
and children, against whom after all the only reproaches 
you can make are some slight weaknesses. 

" How are these punishments inflicted ? There may indeed 
be perhaps a still graver question . . . what kind of com- 
promise may not be extorted from fear? At what price 
does authority sell its indulgence ? . . . 

" Who regulates the number of stripes ? Is it you. Lady 
Abbess? Or is it the Father superior?... What must 
be the passionate, capricious arbitrariness of one woman 
over another, if the latter displeases her; of an ugly 
woman over a handsome one; of an old woman over a 
handsome one ; of an old woman over a young ! One dare 
not think of it. 

° There have been superiors of convents known to have 
several times asked and obtained from their bishops the 
change of their confessor, without finding one severe 
enough to their fancy. There is a vast difference between 
the severity of a man and the cruelty of a woman. The 
latter is the most faithful incarnation of the devil in this 
world, how say you? 

..." Like inquisitor, like Jesuit ? No, but it is here a 
jesuitess, a grand lady converted, who thinks that she was 
born to command, and who, in the midst of this flock of 
trembling women, with the air of a Bonaparte, turns to 
the torment of unfortunate defenceless women the rage of 
her ill-cured passions." * 

MicHELET, -Le Prhtre, la Femme et la Famille, (part II, chap. 5). 

70 ^laQtUation in Stance, 


We must not hug to ourselves the fancy that the 
wielding of the rod was confined solely to Religious circles. 
Many talented writers have also used flogging— in their 
works. Our object, under the present heading, is merely 
to call attention to a few of the more salient examples. 
In French, as for the matter of that, in English also, there 
exists quite a number of works whose principal theme is 
flagellation. * Brantome, that sagacious old courtier and 
•witty writer of broad stories, long ago drew notice to the 
fact that it was not exclusively amongst the pious followers 
of this or that heterodox mystical sect that birching obtained. 
Ladies of high rank were also ardent adherents of Solo- 
mon's old fashioned doctrine which in these lack-a-daisical 
days is going out of use, leaving in its usurped place, the 
brazen " cheek " of a too intelligent rising generation and 
a general disobedience to authority. May not this reckless 
disregard on the part of parents of the good, old injunction 
be the cause of all the loud-mouthed democracy, bombs, 
anarchism, and frightfully wide-spread * superfluity of 
naughtiness " now troubling our legislators— and Max 
Nordau? "Charity begins at home." So do Politics. 
But soft-hearted or soft-brained papas leave for the 
Magistrate's cat-o'-nine-tails the correction that should 

* We may mention such books as " Jupes Troussies; " ' Les Calli- 
pyget " (2 vols) ; " La Danseuse Russe " (3 vols) ; " Mimoires de Miss 
Ophelia Cox'; " DifiU de Fesses Nues;" " Histoire d'un Pantalon' ; " Cor- 
respondance d'Eulalie' (London, 1785); ' Aphrodisiaque Externe, ou 
TraiU du Foiiet, et de ses Effets sur le Physique de l' Amour," par 
Dk. Doppet (1788). ;, 

aSeatittd)^ in ^ooU, 71 

have been wrought at home years before with the 
birch rod. * 

''foni> fatbers, 
Ibavtng bounb up tbe tbreatening twigs of bircb, 
©11I15 to sticft it in tbeir cbilbren's sigbt 
fov terror, not to use, in time tbe rob 
Becomes more mocfteb tban feareb." 

Measuke fok Measure. Act I. sc. 3. 

Our author t gives a curious and quaint account of_a 
great lady's habit of chastising her women. Mademoiselle 
de Limeuil, one of the Queen's maids of Honour, was 
flagellated for having written a pasquinade in company/' 
with all the young ladies, who had been privy to the 
composition. Unfortunately we are obliged to leave this 

* We do not believe in flogging in the Army. It demoralises and 
humiliates the soldiers, whose spirits should only be humiliated by 
England's enemies — when the latter can of course, spell 'able." 
Austria abolished the " whip " in 1866. In France no corporal punish- 
ment is inflicted. In Germany the whip is used only in the prisons, 
but has no place in the Penal Code. In Italy, punishment of this 
kind was done away in 1868. The same applied to Belgium and Hol- 
land. But we do hold with the maintenance of the ' cat ° for wife- 
beaters, garrotters, who mostly fall foul of helpless women and old 
or drunken men. In France, it would wipe out those two scourges 
of Paris the filthy-minded souteneur, and his confrere, the rodeur des 
barri^res. These men, who are miserable cowards at heart, like wolves 
generally go in packs, and fear nothing so much as a good thrashing. 
In this way I would also punish the violators of girls under twelve. 
Sir Charles Beresford thinks however that no discipline could be kept 
in the Naval service without these severe measures, but recommends 
the application only in extreme cases. 

t See " Les Sept Discours touchant les Dames Galantes " (.3 vols) du 
Sieur BrantSme public sur les Manuscrits de la Bibliotheque Nationale, 
par Henki Bouchot, Pakis, 1882. 

72 ^iaQcUattott in ^vancc, 

beautiful and realistic passage in the archaic and charming 
French. The translation of it would burn our pages, and, 
more important still, English Prudery would be shocked, 
while those most delighted to read it in their own tongue, 
would be amongst the first to howl us down and say, 
How very scandalous!" 

BrantOme on another occasion tells us : 

"J'ay ouy parler d'une grande Dame de par le monde, 
mais grandissime, qui ne se contentant de lascivite natu- 
relle ; car elle estoit grande putain, et estant mariee et 
veuve, aussi estoit-elle tres-belle ; pour la provoquer et 
exciter I'avantage, elle faisoit despouiller ses Dames et 
Filler., je dis les plus belles, et se delectoit fort a les 
voir, et puis elle les battoit du plat de la main sur les 
fesses, avec de grandes clacquades et blarauses assez 
rudes, et les filles, qui avoient delinque en quelque chose, 
avec de bonnes verges, et alors son contentement estoit 
de les voir remuer, et faire les mouvements et tordions 
de leurs corps et fesses, lesquelles selon les coups qu'elles 
recevoient, en monstroicnt de bien estranges et plaisantes. 
Aucunes fois, sans les despouiller, les faisoit trousser en 
robbe ; car pour lors elles ne portoient point de cal9ons, 
et les clacquetoit et fouettoit et sur les fesses, selon le 
sujet qu'elles luy donnoient, ou pour les faire rire, ou 
pleurer, et sur ces visions et contemplations s'y aiguisoit 
si bien ses appetits, qu'apres elle les alloit passer bien 
souvent a bon escient avec quelque galant homme bien fort 
et robuste." 

The minions of Henri HI of France, and other princes, 
were decked in white robes; they stripped, and whipped 
in procession for the gratification of their royal masters. 
Not unfrequently the ladies themselves were the execu- 

25eatind§ in fBooU, 73 

tioners in cases where any man had offended them; and 
the adventure of Clopinel, the poet, is worth relating. 
This unfortunate wight had written the following lines on 
the fair sex: 

Toutes Stes, serez ou futes, 
De fait ou de volonte putes; 
Et qui bien vous oherclierait 
Toutes putes vous trouverait. 

This libellous effusion naturally excited the indignation 
of the ladies at court, who decided that Clopinel should 
be flagellated by the plaintiffs without mercy; and it is 
difficult to say to what extent they might have carried 
their vengeance but for a timely witticism of the culprit, 
who, piteously addressing the angry yet beauteous group 
around him with uplifted arm and rod, humbly entreated 
that the first blow might be struck by the honourable damsel 
who felt herself the most aggrieved. It is needless to add 
that not a lash was inflicted. 

This incident has been cleverly versified by an unknown 
author, and it is perhaps, worth while as it is very seldom 
to be met with, to give the original: 


Jean de Meun, qu'on nommait autrement Clopinel 
Avait fait quelques vers centre Thonneur des femmes, 
Les vers 6taient sanglants; une troupe de dames, 

Pour venger I'opprobre ^ternel 
Qu'il faisait a leur seie en les traitant d'infames, 

Voulut en faire un ohatiment. 
Qui servit aux auteurs du meme caractere, 

D'exemple et d'avertisseraent. 
Ces dames dans le Louvre avaient leur logement ; 
Clopinel, bel esprit j venait d'ordinaire; 

74 ^IrtgcUrttion in ^^'rmtce. 

Cela rendait la chose assez ais^e a faire; 
II ne fut question que de savoir comment. 
Dans ce palais 6tait une chambre 6oart^e, 
On trouva le moyen de I'y faire venir : 

Aussitot la troupe irrit^e 
Parut en Lon 6tat et prete a le punir. 
De verges chaque dame avait une poign^e. 
Quelques seigneurs cacMs ^taient de leur complot. 
Le pauvre Clopinel dtant pris comme un sot, 
Implora leur clemence eut recours aux prieres, 
Tadia de les fl^cliir, fila doux, en un mot, 
Tenta tons les moyens de se tirer d'affaires ; 

Mais cela ne lui servit gnferes; 

Les dames voulaient I'^triller; 
Et toutes a I'envi dans leur colore extreme. 

Disaient: II faut le d^pouiller 

— Je me d^pouillerai moi-mSme, 

Leur dit-il, mais auparavant 

Daignez m'accorder une gr^ce. 
Ce n'est point le pardon, mon forfait est trop grand; 
Je suis un temeraire, un perfide, un mechant, 

Je merite votre disgrace, 
Si vous me refusez, sachez que fort souvent 

Dans la fureur on se surpasse. 

J'arracherai les yeux, je devisagerai, 
Plus d'une sentira les effets de ma rage.. 

En lion je me d^fendrai, 

Et je mettrai tout en usage. 

Les dames sur cela jugerent a propos 
D'acoorder sa demande : Eh bien ! lui dirent-elles, 
Nous te le promettons, et nous serons fideles. 

Qu'est-ce? parle done en deux mots. 
— Mesdames, leur dit-il, ce que je vous demande. 

Est que la plus grande putain 

Qui soit daus toute votre bande, 
Donne le premier coup de verges de sa main. 

Les dames s'entre-regarderent. 

Pas une commencer n'osa. 

fBeatlm^ itt ^ooU, 75 

Toutes, qui de i;a, qui de la, 
L'une aprfes I'autre s'en allferent: 
Clopinel resta seul, et par la se sauva. 

(Poesies diverges de Baraton— 1704, p. 17.) 

L'Abbe de Voisenon, the author of some charming, if 
rather free, "Fairy Tales", and the friend of Voltaire, 
wrote a little book called:— 

"BEerclces be 2)evotion be /ID. Ibenrl IRocb avec 
/ilbabame la Ducbesse be Conbor" which was published 

in 1786. 

M. Querlori affirms in a Preface to this work " that it 
was found after decease, amongst Voisenon's papers. He 
composed it, some time before his end, for the amusement 
of Mademoiselle Huchon, his new "friend", whom he had 
taken as king David took Abishag, to warm up the latter 
days of his old age. " The biographer adds that " she 
was a girl of great beauty; slept always at his side, and 
did not cease to remain— a virgin!" * 

In this work, whatever its origin, we have one of the 
most witty delineations of well fed piety in high position, 
to be met with in . any language. Neglected by her 
husband, a rank worldling, the pious exercises of the 
religious-minded Duchess are directed by a friend of the 
family, who is also of serious tendencies. In order to 
curb the risings and turbulencies of the "flesh," always 
" warring, " in the language of St. Paul " against the 
spirit," recourse is had to chastisement. The lady, con- 
vinced for the good of her soul by her spiritual guide 
that this is necessary " makes no bones" about submit- 
ting. We quote: 

* As this was spoken of an Abbd, a most moral race of men, we 
see no reason to doubt the statement, Abb^s are not as other men are. 

76 ^laQtnati0n in ^vance, 

" M. Henri Roch takes the discipline and the Duchesse 
began to intone the Te Deum ; but, when she had finished 
the first verse, she cried out: — Stop! Sir, your scruples 
awaken mine. If you have sinned, it is I that am the 
cause. It is I that should punish myself; and if pleasure 
damns, I ought to fear being cursed, for I have tasted of 
a pleasure that was very delicious. I fear like you not 
having referred it entirely to God; I confess that while 
receiving your caresses, particularly when our hearts 
were in unison, I had certain moments of inattention, 
during which I did not think of God. It is through you 
that I obtained both pleasure and cure ; it is also through 
you that my punishment must come : take this discipline, 
and scourge me ! Saying this the Duchess casts herself 
upon an ottoman, crying: — 'Punish me, Sir, punish a 
woman-sinner ! ' 

" At the sight of so many charms, M. Henri Roch fell 
on his knees: — I collect my thought for a moment; said 
he, to offer up a prayer to God, begging him to accept 
as an agreable offering the holy act I am going to per- 
form. " 

The performance, needless to say, leads to excesses 
which amply demonstrate to our minds at least, that 
neither devotee nor spiritual consoler had yet reached that 
altitude of beatification which placed them above the power 
of carnal dominion. 

The experiences of the French philosopher Rousseau, in 
the field of flagellation, are so well-known that we need 
almost to apologise for referring to them. But as many 
of our readers may not have his ' Confessions " within 
reach we give the following extract to show the peculiar 
effect birching had upon his physiological system, the 

JBmtingiS in ^ooU, 77 

result of which with the clear-sightedness of a man of 
genius he has seen the importance of: — 

" As Mademoiselle Lambercier had for us the affection 
of a mother, she had also the same authority, which she 
sometimes carried so far as to inflict upon us child punish- 
ment when we had deserved it. For a long time she 
limited herself to threats, and this threat of a punishment 
quite new to me seemed very dreadful ; but after its 
execution, I found the ordeal less terrible than the dread 
of it had been : and what is more strange is that iliis 
punishment endeared me still more to her who had inflicted 
it on me. It required indeed all the sincerity of that 
affection and all the natural mildness of my character to 
prevent my seeking, by deserving, a repetition of the 
same treatment; for I had found in the pain, and even in 
the shame, a mingling of sensuality which had left me 
more desire than fear of suffering it again from the same 
hand. It is true, that some precocious sexual instinct 
being mixed up therein, the same punishment if inflicted 
by her brother would have seemed to me to be very far 
from pleasant." 

Jean Jacques Rousseau, Les Confessions (Part I, Book I). 

From philosopher to poet is but a step, and it is to a 
poet, and a very witty one too, that we now go. La- 
fontaine, as far as we are aware was no wielder of the 
birch himself nor have we any record that either birch or 
other whipping instrument, was ever applied to his nervous 
economy. But he knew well how to describe the operation, 
as he did indeed many others of a totally different char- 
acter. Most well-read Englishmen are familiar in some 
form or other, with the charming story of "The Spec- 
tacles," and it is therefore not necessary to repeat this 

78 ^la^cliation in ^vanu, 

tale more than in outline. A young man of libertine 
propensities had obtained admission into a certain holy 
convent and from sundry signs and changes in the com- 
portment of her flock, the good Lady Abbess began to 
suspect something amiss. So one fine morning all the ladies 
of the establishment were called into the great parlour of 
the convent, and, with properly adjusted spectacles, the 
saintly Mother made a rapid inspection of her nuns, finally 
discovering that one of them was of the masculine gender ! 
Of course, there was a terrible hulla-baloo, and -many of 
these sensitive damsels fainted away on the spot at the 
bare thought of the ravaging wolf in their fold. At a 
solemn conclave quickly convened and held, it was decided 
solemnly to whip the vile offender, who should be tied to 
a tree in the forest without. He is led forth and stripped 
of his vestments, when Fortune, whom he had so dared 
works a miracle! The nuns have forgotten something, I 
too forget what it is, and they troop back to get it. 
While they are away, a sturdy, good-natured miller passes 
with his ass. Alas, how soon was he to prove himself a 
greater. Naturally enough the man asks him why he is 
tied to the tree, and our ingenious gallant pitches a cock 
and bull story about being punished for refusing to accept 
the favours of the nuns, whom he paints in the vilest of 
characters. The miller laughs at the young man's supposed 
foolishness, declares himself ready to fulfill all their ladies' 
commands, and untying the prisoner, has himself attached 
to the tree in his place. We leave Lafontaine to continue 
the story in his own way: — 

JBerttingig in f&ooU, 79 

With shoulders broad the miller you might see, 

In Adam's birth-attire, against the tree, 

Await the coming of the aged band, 

Who soon appeared, with tapers in the hand, 

In solemn guise, and whips and scourges dire. 

The virgin troop (as convent laws require) 

In full procession moved around the wight. 

Without allowing time to catch his sight 

Or giving notice what they meant to do. 

" How now ! " cried he, ' Why won't you take a view ? 

Deceived you are; regard me well I pray; 

I'm not the silly fool you had to-day, _ 

Who woman hates, and scruples seeks to raise. 

Employ but me, and soon I'll gain your praise ; 

I'll wonders execute; my strength appears; 

And if I fail, at once cut oflf my ears. 

At certain pleasant play I'm clever found; 

But as to whips, I never was renowned." 

Naturally, enough, the chaste nuns are inexpressibly- 
shocked, and his words, aggravated by reiterated and 
unnecessarily plain explanations, only irritate them the 

" What means the fellow ? " cried a toothless nun. 

'What would he tell us? Hast thou nothing done? 

How! art thou not our brat -begetter? Speak. 

So much the worse — on thee our rage we'll wreak. 

For him that's gone we'll make thee suffer now; 

Once arms in hand, we never will allow 

Such characters full punishment to miss; 

The play that we desire is this and this." 

Then whips and scourges round him gan to move. 

And not a little troublesome to prove. 

80 ^iaQcUati0n in ^taitcc. 

The miller, writhing with the poignant smart, 
Cried loudly, ' I'll exert my utmost art, 
Good ladies, to perform what is your due." 
The more he bawled the faster lashes flew. 
This work so well the aged troop achieved. 
He long remembered what his skin received. 

While thus the master chastisement had got, 
His mule was feeding on the verdant spot. 
But what became of this or that, at last, 
I've never heard, and care not how it passed. 
'Tis quite enough to save the young gallant. 
And more particulars we do not want. 

Our next incident represents a tremendous jump. Between 
Zola and Lafontaine is a gulf wider than that separating 
the rich man and Lazarus. We have no doubt however 
that the " unco guid " would class both our authors with 
that naughty rich man, the company of Lazarus being 
relatively of quite a superior quality. Be that as it may. 
We do not consider their opinion worth having, as being 
too biased — away from our own. Most disenthralled readers 
of the English tongue have probably read "TAssommoir." 
White-haired old Vizetelly, who had passed his life in 
the service of Literature, was sent to prison for eighteen 
months for putting it into the speech of Britons, and the 
author of it when he visited the English shores, was feted 
by the City fathers. But these are details. That book 
contains a realistic description of a certain side of Parisian 
life. We have no intention of attempting an analysis of 
it here. Introduced into a washing-house on the borders 
of the Seine, we listen to the songs, "chaff" and licentious 
ribaldry of irresponsible females. At home one is glad to 

a5e4ting§ in ^ooU, 81 

escape a scolding; but I have noted that in Whitechapel 
streets when two fish-wives are indulging in a few current 
amenities, every one stops to drink in their edifying 
wrangle. Let no one imagine I am going to drag filthy 
language into these pages. The conversation that is going on 
at the wash-tub shall be left untranslated. SufQce to say 
that two young women after indulging in mutual recrim- 
inations concerning their private love-affairs, have got to 
close quarters. We quote the following passage only for 
its bearing on our subject and especially as showing the 
enormous influence flagellation exercises over a woman 
even when the beating is administered by one of her own 
sex. It should be particularly observed that the spirit of 
Virginie's adversary was fairly tamed and broken in by 
the shame of the fustigation, more than the blows she 
received. We cite the lines in question: 

"Her face bore such a terrible expression, that no one 
dared approach her. Her strength seemed to have increased 
tenfold. She seized Virginie round the waist, bent her 
down and pressed her face against the flagstones; then, 
in spite of her struggles, she turned up her petticoats, 
and tore her drawers away. Raising her beetle she com- 
menced beating as she used to beat at Plassans, on the 
banks of the Viorne, when her mistress washed the clothes 
of the garrison. The wood seemed to yield to the flesh 
with a damp sound. At each whack a red weal marked 
the white skin. 

" Oh, oh ! " murmured the boy Charles, opening his eyes 
to their full extent and gloating over the sight. 

Laughter again burst forth from the lookers-on, but 
soon the cry, "Enough! enough!" recommenced. Gervaise 
heard not, neither did she tire. She examined her work, 


82 ^la^aiation in Stance. 

bent over it, anxious not to leave a dry place. She wanted, 
to see the whole of that skin beaten, covered with con- 
tusions. And she talked, seized with a ferocious gaiety, 
recalling a washerwoman's song, "Bang! bang! Margot 
at her tub — Bang! bang! beating rub-a-dub— Bang! bang! 
tries to wash her heart— Bang! bang bang! black with: 
grief to part—." 

And then she resumed, ' That's for you, that's for your 
sister, that's for Lantier. When you next see them, you 
can give them that. Attention ! I'm going to begin again. 
That's for Lantier, that's for your sister, that's for you. 
Bang! bang! Margot at her tub— Bang! bang! beating 
rub-a-dub — " 

The others were obliged to drag Virginie from her. 
The tall dark girl, her face bathed in tears and purple 
with shame, picked up her things and hastened away. 
She was vanquished. Gervaise slipped on the sleeve of 
her jacket again, and fastened up her petticoats. Her arm 
pained her a good deal, and she asked Madame Boche to 
place her bundle of clothes on her shoulder. The door- 
keeper referred to the battle, spoke of her emotions, and 
talked of examining the young woman's person, just to see." 

This extract proves two things (I) that the mind of 
Marchioness and washer-woman moves in parallel lines in 
holding, under different cii'cumstances, that the greatest 
humiliation inflictible on ladies obnoxious to us is a severe 
slapping; (II) that neither threats, nor abusive language, 
nor wilful waste of words will as rapidly effect a salutary 
change in the sentiments, or tame the spirit of the haughtiest 
dame that lives, as castigation applied in the manner, and 
on the parts, before speciiied. 

aS(jatittd§ lit f800U, 83 

Our next extract deals with a case of fraternal tyranny, 
that we trust, for mere Humanity's sake, is uncommon. * 
Men who have the good luck to possess little brothers 
should treat them with kindness. 

The book we quote from is more a study of temperament 
than character. It has been termed immoral ; but the 
reproach of immorality falls to the ground when levelled 
at Science. Writing in that terrible book, "Therese 
Raquin," M. Emile Zola says: "J do not know if my 
novel is immoral, I admit that I have never troubled 
myself to make it more or less chaste. What I do know 
is that I never for an instant dreamt of putting in it the 
filthinesses that moral people have discovered. Each scene 
have I written, even the most feverish, with the unique 
curiosity of the savant, and I defy my traduce rs to find 
therein a single really licentious line." 

Paul Bonnetain has written with the same frankness. 
We have here, traced out for us, step by step, the ter- 
rible insidiousness and consequences of one of the most 
shocking forms of genital aberration to which the youth 
of both sexes too often abandon themselves. Written by 
a man, who knows the value of words, we cannot but 
wish that the Clergy— those professional keepers of the public 
conscience,— would speak out with equal impressiveness. 

Eusebius, a priest who is hearing his brother recite the 
catechism suddenly declares that Chariot has not properly 
learnt the day's lesson. The youngster stoutly avers the 
contrary when, after some interchange of words, the elder 
loses patience and, like a fiend broke loose, falls foul of 
the little man. 

■ Chariot s'Amuse" by Paul Boknetatn, Brussels, 1883. 

84 ^laQeUatioti in fyi?attce, 

""Ah! you won't, won't you, bad Christian! We 

shall see!" 

" And brother Eusebius seized Chariot beneath his arm 
and carried him ofif like a bundle. Arrived on the first 
floor, he opened the door of the sitting-room, and threw 
his burden on the floor. 

" The boy trembled, not recognizing this room into which 
he had never yet come and where a subdued light filtering 
through the venetian-blinds barely made it_ possible to 
distinguish the colour of the furniture. In the dread of 
an unknown punishment, his hair stood on end, his teeth 
chattered, and he was afraid to stir. The man locked 
the door, admitted a little light into the room and sat 
down on an easy- chair. 

" " Take off your trowsers! " 

" Chariot obeyed, quite pale, and feeling his legs give 
way beneath him. Eusebius laid hold of him again. The 
cheeks of the scoundrel trembled, his breath came hissing 
and his eyes glistened with a strange light. Slowly he 
passed his hands over the naked flesh of the boy, whose 
skin, as he still more violently trembled became mottled 
blue with goose-flesh ; whereat, the man, disappointed as 
it were, felt his rage rise again. Suddenly, he seized his 
victim by the neck, shoved him down on his knees before 
him, violently holding his head between his knees; then, 
taking a martinet from his pocket, he began furiously to 
flog that white skin which maddened him, hitting harder 
and harder, and accompanying each blow with the broken 
exclamations of a paviour, never ceasing to contemplate 
the image of his horrible work reflected in the big looking- 
glass of the room. 

" At the first blows, Chariot had howled with pain, but 

meWal ^am^ation, 85 

his cries soon died out; the Brother squeezed him tighter 
between his legs, stifling him in a brutal and choking 
pressure of the knees. And panting, violet in the face, 
his eyes starting from their orbits, foaming, liis tongue 
hanging out, the little martyr, under the lashing and 
atrocious pain, bore up his whole being against it and 
vibrated as each blow of the martinet descended, lacerating 
his flesh." 


This subject has deservedly occupied at various times 
the attention of the medical world. The facts to be 
gathered under this head are very curious from several 
points of view. The questions involved soar somewhat 
beyond the common. That boys may be cured of cheek, 
girls of a haughty temper, and women of loud-voicedness 
and incipient infidelity, by the vigorous application of 
birchen twigs to a sensitive part of their body, is con- 
ceivable with far less effort than is necessary to administer 
the castigation. That a host of mysterious maladies to 
which flesh is heir, may be chased away by the same 
means requires a greater effort of the understanding. Yet 
to anyone possessing the elements of physiology the fact 
is simple enough. * 

* ' Quippe cum eS de causa capucini, multseque moniales, virorura 
medicorum ao piorum hominum oonsilio, ascesiin flagellandi sursum 
humeros reliquerint, ut sibi nates lumbosque strient asperatis virgis, 
ac nodosis funiculis conscribillent." * 

* Jnasmucb ae tbe Capucbius for tbe same reason, au5 mang 

86 i^IageUatipn in ^vancc. 

" Flagellation as a remedy was ' supposed by some 
physicians, to reanimate the capillary or cutaneous vessels, 
to increase muscular energy, promote absorption and favour 
the necessary secretions of our nature. But an eccentric 
writer goes much further than this, and regards the Birch 
much in the same light as Dr. Sangrado looked upon cold 
water and bloodletting: according to him there is nothing 
like the Birch; it is a universal specific^it stirs up the 
stagnating juices, it dissolves the precipating sources, it 
purifies the coagulating humours of the body, it clears the 
brain, purges the belly, circulates the blood, braces the 
nerves; in short there is nothing which the Birch will 
not accomplish when judiciously applied. " * 

Dr. Millingen, in his now almost forgotten little work 
already quoted, on the " Curiosities of Medical Experience, " 
says : — 

" Amongst the various moral and physical remedies 
introduced by priesthood and physicians for the benefit of 
society, flagellation once held a most distinguished rank. 
As a remedy, it was supposed to re-animate the torpid 
circulation of the capillary or cutaneous vessels, to increase 
muscular energy, promote absorption, and favour the ne- 
cessary secretions of our nature. No doubt, in many 
instances, its action as a revulsive may be beneficial ; and 

iRuns, foUowing tbc advice ot pbgaicfans anb pfoua men, 
abanboneb tbc ascetic piactfce i&a%ri6i.v) ot flagellation on tbe 
BboulOers, to stripe tbe buttocfts an& loins witb rougbencb 
ro&s an& scrawl tbem over witb ftnotteb ropes. 

* ' Ubi stimulus ibi affluxus, " has been a physiological axiom since 
the days of Hippocrates; and flagellation thus employed is only a 
modification of blistering, or exciting the skin by any other irritating 
method. " History of the Rod, " London, new edition, 1896, page 204. 

me^Uai ^am^atioiu 87 

urtication, or the stinging with nettles, has not unfrequently 
heen prescribed with advantage. As a religious discipline, 
for such has this system of mortification been called, it 
has been considered as most acceptable to Heaven ; so much 
so, indeed, that the fustigation was commensurate with the 
sinner's offence. 

' The moral influence of flagellation in the treatment of 
different diseases has been appreciated by the ancients: it 
was strongly recommended by the disciples of Asclepiades, 
by Caelius Aurelianus, and since by Rhases and Valescus, 
in the treatment of mania. No doubt, the terror which 
this castigation inspires may tend materially to facilitate 
the management of the insane. To a late day this 
opinion prevailed to a revolting degree, and it was no 
easy matter for the humane physician to convince a keeper 
of the cruelty or inutility of this practice; yet seldom or 
never does this harsh management become necessary. 

Medical men were frequently consulted as to the 
adoption of the upper or lower discipline, as flagellation 
on the shoulders was said to injure the eye-sight. It 
was from the fear of this accident that the lower dis- 
cipline was generally adopted amongst nuns and female 

In a medicinal point of view, urtication, or stinging with 
nettles, is a practice not sufficiently appreciated. In many 
instances, especially in cases of paralysis, it is more effi- 
cacious than blistering or stimulating frictions. Its effects, 
although perhaps less permanent, are more general and 
diff'used over the limb. This process has been found 
effectual in restoring heat to the lower extremities; and 
a case of obstinate lethargy was cured by Corvisart by 
repeated urtication of the whole body. During the action 

88 ^la^ciiation in ^vatm, 

of the stimulus, the patient, who was a young man, would 
open his eyes and laugh, but sink again into profound 
sleep. However, in three weeks his perfect cure was 

Flagellation draws the circulation from the centre of 
our system to its periphery. It has been known in a fit 
of ague to dispel the cold stage. Galen had observed that 
horse-dealers were in the habit of bringing their horses 
into high condition by a moderate fustigation ; and there- 
fore recommended this practice to give embonpoint to the 
lean. Antonius Musa treated a sciatica of Octavius Augus- 
tus by this process. Elidoeus Paduanus recommends flagel- 
lation or urtication when the eruption of exanthematic 
diseases is slow in its development. Thomas Campanella 
records the case of a gentleman whose bowels could not 
be relieved without his having been previously whipped. 

Irritation of the skin has been often observed to be 
productive of similar effects. The erotic irregularities of 
lepers are well authenticated; and various other cutaneous 
diseases, which procure the agreeable relief that scratching 
affords, have brought on the most pleasurable sensations. 
There exists a curious letter of Abelard to Heloise, in 
which he says, 

" Verbera quandoqiie dabat amor, non furor; gratia, non ira; quce 
omnium unguentorum suavitatem transcenderent." * 

This effect of flagellation may be easily referred to the 
powerful sympathy that exists between the nerves of the 
lower part of the spinal marrow and other organs. Arti- 
ficial excitement appears in some degree natural : it is 

* The stripes given were often those of love, not anger ; of fondness, 
not of wrath. For such stripes exceeded the sweet savour of aU 

mehicaX <s;rtltl9rttion. 89 

observed in various animals, especially in the feline tribe. 
Even snails plunge into each other a bony and prickly 
spur that arises from their throats and which, like the 
sting of the wasp, frequently breaks off and is left in the 

There is another side of medical flagellation which is 
of great curiousness, but which needs treating with con- 
siderable reserve. We refer to flagellations as a means 
of sexual excitement. Several works have been written, 
all of them dealing more or less ably with the question, 
and all manifestly incomplete. We have in our possession 
a variety of documents bearing upon the matter, which we 
may one day publish when they have been supplemented 
by others and arranged in systematic order. Such a work 
would be addressed, of course, only to medical men and 
specialists. Meanwhile the following observations must be 
regarded as purely tentative. 

Dr. Krafft Ebing, in his monumental work, ' Psychopathia 
Sexualis " says: — 

" Libido sexualis may also be induced by stimulation of 
the gluteal region (castigation, whipping). 

" This fact is not unimportant for the understanding of 
certain pathological manifestations. It sometimes happens 
that in boys the first excitation of the sexual instinct is 
caused by a spanking and they are thus incited to mas- 
turbation. This should be remembered by those who have 
the care of children. 

" On account of the dangers to which this form of punish- 
ment of children gives rise, it would be better if parents, 
teachers, and nurses were to avoid it entirely. 

" Passive flagellation may excite sensuality, as is shown 
by the sects of flagellants, so widespread in the thir- 

90 i^lagcUrttion in ^vance* 

teenth and fifteenth centuries. They were accustomed to 
whip themselves, partly as atonement and partly to kill 
the flesh (in accordance with the principle of chastity 
promulgated by the Church,— i.e., the emancipation of the 
soul from sensuality). 

" These sects were at first favored by the Church ; but, 
since sensuality was only excited the more by flagellation, 
and the fact became apparent in unpleasant occurrences, 
the church was finally compelled to oppose it. The 
following facts from the lives of the two heroines of 
flagellation, Maria Magdalena of Pazzi and Elizabeth of 
Genton, clearly show the significance of flagellation as a 
sexual excitant. The former, a child of distinguished 
parents, was a Carmelite nun in Florence (about 1580), 
and, by her flagellations, and, still more, through the results 
of them, she became quite celebrated, and is mentioned 
in the Annals. It was her greatest delight to have the 
prioress bind her hands behind her and have her whipped 
on the naked loins in the presence of the assembled 

" But the whippings, continued from her earliest youth, 
quite destroyed her nervous system, and perhaps no other 
heroine of flagellation had so many hallucinations (" Ent- 
ziickungen"). While being whipped her thoughts were 
of love. The inner fire threatened to consume her, and 
she frequently cried, " Enough ! Fan no longer the flame 
that consumes me. This is not the death I long for, it 
comes with all too much pleasure and delight." Thus it 
continued. But the spirit of impurity wove the most 
sensual, lascivious fancies, and she was several times near 
losing her chastity. 

" It was the same with Elizabeth of Genton. As a result 

of whipping she actually passed into a state of baccha- 
nalian madness. As a rule, she rested when, excited by- 
unusual flagellation, she believed herself united with her 
"ideal." This condition was so exquisitely pleasant to her 
that she would frequently cry out, " love, eternal love, 
love, you creatures ! cry out with me, love, love i " 

The celebrated Jean Pic de la Mirandole relates of one 
of his intimate acquaintances that he was an insati- 
able fellow, but so lazy and incapable of love that 
he was practically impotent until he had been roughly 
handled. The more he tried to satisfy his desire, the 
heavier the blows he needed, and he could not attain his 
ends until he had been whipped until the blood came. 
For this purpose he had a suitable whip made, which 
was placed in vinegar the day before using it. He would 
give this to his companion, and on bended knees beg her 
not to spare him, but to strike blows with it, the heavier 
the better. The good Count thought this singular man 
found the pleasure of love in this punishment. While in 
other respects he was not a bad man, he understood and 
hated his weakness." * 

* Vivit adhuc homo mihi notus prodigiosa lididinis et inaaditse : 
nam ad Venerem nunquam accenditur nisi vapulet. Et tamen soelus 
id ita cogitat: saevientes ita plagas desiderat, ut increpet yerberan- 
tem, si cum oo lentius egerit, hand compos plene voti, nisi eruperit 
sanguis, et innoncentes artus hominis nocentissimi violentior soutica 
desoeverit. Efflagitat miser banc operam summis preoibus ab ea 
semper faemina quam adit, praebetque flagellum, pridie sibi ad id 
officii aoeti infusions duratum, et supplex a meretrice verberari postulat : 
a qua quanto caeditur durius, eo ferventius inoalescit, et pari passu 
ad voluptatem doloremque contendit. Unus inventus homo qui cor- 
poreas delicias inter cruciatus inveniat; et cum alioquin pessimus non 
sit, morbum suum agnoscit et edit. 

92 flagellation In Stance* 

Coelius Rhodigin relates a similar story, as does also 
the celebrated jurist, Andreas Tiraquell. In the time of 
the skilful physician, Otten Brunfelsen, there lived in 
Munich, then the Capital of the Bavarian Electorate, a 
debauchee who could never perform his [sexual] purposes 
without a severe preparatory beating. Thomas Barthelin 
also knew a Venetian, who had to be beaten and driven 
before he could have intercourse,— just as Cupid himself 
moved reluctantly driven by his followers with sprays of 
hyacinth. A few years ago there was in Liibeck a cheese- 
monger, living on Mill Street, who, on a complaint to the 
authorities of unfaithfulness, was ordered to leave the 
city. The prostitute with whom he had been went to the 
judges and begged in his behalf, telling how dif&cult all 
intercourse had become for him. He could do nothing 
until he had been mercilessly beaten. At first the fellow, 
from shame and to avoid disgrace, would not confess, but 
after earnest questioning he could not deny it. There is 
said to have been a man in the Netherlands who was 
similarly incapable, and could do nothing without blows. 
On the decree of the authorities, however, he was not 
only removed from his position, but also properly punished. 
A credible friend, a physician in an important city of 
the kingdom, told me, on July 14th, last year, how a 
woman of bad character had told a companion, who had 
been in the hospital a short time before, that she, with 
another woman of like character, had been sent to the 
woods by a man who followed them there, cut rods for 
them, and then exposed his nates, commanding them to 
belabour him well. This they did. It is easy to conclude 
what he then did with them. Not only men have been 
excited and inflamed to lasciviousness, but also women. 

that they too might experience greater intensity of pleasure. 
For this reason the Roman woman had herself whipped 
and beaten by the luperci. Thus Juvenal (Sat 11. 142) 
writes: — 

" Steriles moriuntur, et illis 
Turgida non prodest oondita pyxide Lyde, 
Neo prodest agili palmas prsebere Luperco. 

n )ii 

The Marquis de Roure in his very interesting and use- 
ful work, " Analectabiblion " f notices three remarkable 
books which have made in their time no little stir. We 
copy the titles of these works just as the Marquis cites them. 


Lumborumque et renum oiHcio, Thomi Bartholomi, 
Joannis — Henrici et Meibomii patris, Henrici Meibomii filii. 
Accedunt de eodcm renum officio Joachimi Olhasii et Olai 
Wormii dissertaliunculse. Francofurti, ex bibliopolio Daniel 
Paulli, 1670 (1 vol. pet. in-8vo de 144 pages, pap. fin) 


Dans les plaisirs du mariage et dans la medecine, traduit 
de Meibomius, par Mercier de Compiegne, avec le texte, 
des notes, des additions et figures. Paris (J. Girouard), 
1792, in- 16. 1 vol. in-16 pap. velin. (peu commun.) 

" They die barren ; and neither bloated Lyd6 with her drug box 
avails them aught, nor yet to hold out their hands to the leaping 
Lupercus [Priest of Pan]. 

t The further title is " Ou Extraits Critiques de divers livres rares, 
oublies ou peu connus tirds du Cabinet du Marquis de R*** " Paris, 
Teohener 1835 (2 vols); Vol. II page 316 et seq. 

94 ^Xa^eliation in ^vanu* 




Ouvrage medico-philosophique, suivi d'une dissertation 
sur les moyens d'exciter aux plaisirs de I'amour, par 
D*** (Doppet), medecin, 1788, 1 vol. in-18 de 108 pages, 
plus 18 feuillets preliminaires. 


Ou I'on fait voir le bon et le mauvais usage des 
Flagellations parrai les Chretiens, par des preuves tirees 
de I'Ecriture Sainte, etc., trad, du latin de M. I'abbe Boileau, 
docteur de Sorbonne (par I'abbe Granet). Amsterd., chez 
Henri Gauzet, 1722. (1 vol. in— 12) (1670— 1732 -88— 92.) 

The first-named work has been translated into English 
and reprinted more than once. How Meiboniius came to 
write it is rather curious. According to the Marquis de 
Roure it was in 1639 at a dinner given at Liibeck, in 
the house of Martin Gerdesius, a Counsellor of the Duke 
of Holstein, that the subject of conversation turned upon 
whipping as a medical cure, when it was spoken of 
as ridiculous and absurd. Amongst the guests were 
Christian Cassius, Bishop of Liibeck, and the celebrated 
doctor, John Henry Meibomius of Helmstadt. " It is not so 
ridiculous as that," said Meibomius, "and I will -prove it 
to you.' Meibomius kept the word thus pledged in the 
midst of a convivial assembly and the curious treatise 
dedicated to his friend, the Bishop of Liibeck, and destined 
only for the eyes of a few friends was, at first, printed 
without the author's knowledge. 

The little book is at once learned and clever. The 

pjlebical ^aj^tigrttion. 9 5 

authorities cited, or referred to, show a vast amount of 
patient research. A number of facts, some of them very 
cynical, are systematised and complete evidence given, 
demonstrating the powerfulness of flagellation applied to 
the lumbar region, either to dissipate cerebral vapours, 
excite to the generative act, or (and this appears more 
wonderful than all the rest) give plumpness to worn-out 
human bodies. We are unable to give more than a 
very bare idea of a most remarkable work. It was well 
that Meibomius wrote in Latin, or the prudery of even, 
those robust times might have received a shock. He calls 
"a spade, a spade" without the least fear, and sometimes 
a big 'spade" to boot. But the work is not pornographic, 
except as dealing with a naturally porcine subject. The 
learned doctor sought to substantiate his thesis, and that 
is all. 

Dr. Doppet's treatise, on " External Aphrodisiacs " is a 
work of different calibre to that of Meibomius. The 
Marquis de Roure is of opinion that the luckless wight 
who should be so ill-advised as to try any of the ex- 
citants recommended, would incur great risks of ruining 
his health. The work contains a whole pharmacopoeia of 
the most active drugs known. Amongst much of a libidin- 
oiis and grossly satirical character there runs a thread of 
clever observation that entitles the author to be regarded 
less as a man of Science than as a man-of-the-world. 
His experiences appear to have been very varied and his 
position as a medical man often necessitated his visiting 
houses of prostitution. In one of these places he was 
present at a quaint scene. With the quotation of this 
passage, we take leave of Dr. Doppet, as also of his 
curious book. 

96 ^iaQellati^n in ^vance. 

" I was witness of a very singular spectacle, and which 
but too well proves that lust goes far beyond reason. 
Being in Paris, I was summoned to give my professional 
care to one of the ladies belonging to a seraglio of the 
Rue Saint-Honore, and who was the victim of one of 
those accidents incidental to her profession. Being in her 
chamber, I heard a noise in the adjoining room, from 
which rose the voice of a woman much angered and even 
menacing. The woman with whom I was did not even 
give me time to question her upon what was going forward 
next door, but in a hushed voice entreated me to remain 
silent, and gently lifting up the ends of some tapestry 
hangings, she placed me before a little opening, through 
which I had the opportunity of seeing the most amusing 
and also the most ridiculous of spectacles. This is the 
scene that passed and which, it appeared, was repeated 
twice a week. The principal actress was a fine looking 
brunette who was but half dressed, that is to say, that 
she showed openly her breast, her thighs, and her rump. 
The other parts were occupied by four old men with 
solemn wigs, the costume, the attitude and the grimaces 
of whom forced me every moment to bite my lips in 
order that I should not burst out laughing. Those aged 
libertines were playing, as sometimes their children may 
do, the game of the schoolmaster. The girl, a birch in 
hand, gave to each of them in turn a smart correction ; 
the one who received the sharpest punishment was he 
whose organisation was the most sluggish. The culprits, 
during the correction, devotedly kissed the arse of their 
mistress, while her lovely arm was at last quite tired 
with whipping their libidinous carcasses ^ and the game 
ceased only when it was useless to longer fatigue exhausted 

nature. When everybody had gone, I left my post of 
observation without being quite convinced of the reality 
of what I had seen. My patient was much amused at my 
surprise, and related to me many more ridiculous facts which 
were of daily occurence in their Convent. We have, she 
said, the custom of the most important men in Paris, and 
these girls have the honour to flog the most illustrious 
members of the clergy, of the bar, and of the financial 

The " History of the Flagellants " by the Abbe Boileaa 
is quite a different kind of book and well worthy of attention. 
Written in exceptionally good Latin of the style of Plau- 
tus, it saw the light about 1700 and has been translated into 
both French and English. Although it was described as 
'a work of saintly obscenity" by the abbe Irailh in his 
" Recueil de Querelles Litteraires, " it is really nothing of 
the sort. The abbe Irailh's adjectives spring from anger 
and bias, and supply another sample of " odium theologi- 
cum." On its appearance, the work caused great excitement 
amongst the monks and theologians, and above all, amongst 
the Jesuits, either on account of the Jansenist opinions 
imputed to Boileau, or because of that deplorable predilec- 
tion the Jesuits have always had for the lower form of 

Father Cerceau and the indefatigable controversialist, 
Jean-Baptiste Thiers, showed themselves the most cruel, 
on this occasion against Boileau. On their side also, the 
monks and the nuns who had made up their mind abso- 
lutely to flagellate themselves down to the very calves of 
their legs* singing, in unison, the Miserere, raised a 

* Ad vitulos. 

98 ^IttgelCattow in fyfdttec. 

tremendous noise. But as no convincing refutation of the 
Abbe's book appeared, we conclude that none was possible. 
The marquis de Roure considers Boileau's work superior 
to that of Meibomius, but he ought to have borne in 
mind that each runs on far different lines, and approaches 
the subject from vastly different standpoints. Boileau, in 
ten chapters traces the history of voluntary flagellation 
from its origin to his own times, under all its forms and 
for whatever motives, as an unworthy custom born of 
Paganism and fostered by Debauchery. In the education 
of children it corrupts the master, and perverts the pupil. 
Quintilian reproved the practice. As a punishment inflicted 
on slaves and heretics it wounded decency and favoured 
cruelty; as a means of self mortification, it is the most 
dangerous of lacerations, because it excites the flesh while 
seeking to repress it; and, as a form of penitence, asso- 
ciates ridicule with scandal. Is it not fine to see Father 
Girard whipping, under the pretence of discipline, the 
beautiful Cadiere, as a beginning of carnal satisfaction, 
and that on the grounds that similar liberties had been 
taken, without harm or attaint to their chastity, by Saint 
Edmund, Bernard of Sienna, and by the Capucine, Matthew 
of Avignon ? How many unknown father Girards has not 
the practice produced against one Saint Bernard who 
came through the fire scatheless? How many unknown 
women have lost their chastity, and what numbers of 
nameless girls their honour, because Dame Nature proved 
stronger than the inventions of man, will never be ascer- 
tained. To judge from Human Nature, which is after all 
everywhere the same potent traitor, Christian flagellation 
has nothing to boast of over that of the voluptuous Luper- 
calia of old Rome, and as regards the number of fair 

mmcai ^a$iiQation. 99 

devotees chastised, we must have had, esteems the Marquis, 
quite as many women compromised as the Eomans. 

In Continental houses of pleasure, it appears, to judge 
from the revelations made by writers who seem to have 
a full knowledge of the subject, that flagellation is resorted 
to at the present day by confirmed debauchees to quicken 
their waning powers, or perhaps, worse still, in the hopes 
of recreating sexual force that has long given place to bitter 
regrets. A literary friend has been good enough to cull 
a few extracts for us, and we give the same without 

"Alas! all these gentlemen do not possess the sense 
that is fitting at their age. Some of them have desires 
entirely out of season. These wrecks are exacting and 
their partners must bend to the yoke, deeming themselves 
happy when nothing is too much out of the usual groove. 

But the profits are considerable for those who submit 
to the heavy rule of unnatural wishes and their repu- 
tation grows apace. 

People come from obscure provincial towns to visit them, 
and they are asked to leave home in return for a heavy 
subsidy for travelling expenses. 

They alone know the art of. wielding the whip, the rod, 
the long strap furnished with sharp points, and other 
instruments of frenzied enjoyment. 

And they become rich rapidly, these women who consent 
to play the part of sworn tormentor, and lend themselves 
less easily to that of victim. To sum up, it is a known 
fact that a lady of this kind possessed a fortune of more 
than three hundred thousand francs. 

100 flagellation in ^vanu. 

Well-earned money, when we reflect that the lovers of 
torture do not always practise upon themselves. 

" Recently, a law-suit (we are always obliged to turn to 
judicial sources when wishing to tell true stories) revealed 
the weird fantasies of a sportsman. This invidual possessed 
as mistress a charming girl who sought only in love, if 
not in purity, at least the simple satisfaction of the senses. 
It appears that the gentleman needed peculiar excitement, 
which he obtained in making his sweetheart, in primitive 
attire, gallop round the bedroom, while he forced the pace 
with a horsewhip. 

This went on until one day when the excitement failed 
to arise, the sportsman administered such a thrashing 
to the poor girl that she remained senseless on the floor. " 

" One of these good old fellows was slave to a passion 
which was as peculiar in its manifestation as it was ignoble 
at bottom. 

The woman who had to satisfy him, received a new 

-pair of boots at each of his visits. The couple, divested 

of all clothing, played 'ride-a-cock horse' all round the 

room, the woman astride the old man's back, spurring him 

by sturdy blows in the ribs." * 

" Their most frequent device was that of flagella- 
tion with special instruments resembling the knout in 
their form; some are slaves to their lechery and allow 
themselves to be flogged. We can only deplore this 
mania, which harms but themselves; but what can be 
said of wretches who do not scruple to force defence- 

* Jules Davray. — L'arm6e du Vice, Paris, J. B. Ferreyrol, 1890, 
12mo, plates. 

aWebicrtl Q^am^aiion, 10 1 

less unfortunate girls to submit to these abominable 
practices ? ° * 

..." Some of them, utterly exhausted, need stimulation, 
such as pricking with pins or strokes of the cat-o'nine- 
tails, strange excitement which, nevertheless, will produce 
a result— of some kind or another."! 

" On the 14th of August 1891, the Tenth Chamber of the 
Tribunal Correctionel of Paris gave judgment in the Bloch 
case. We find that Bloch had allowed a woman named 
Marchand, 40 years of age, to procure for him four women, 
Goude, 24 years old. Matte, 22 and Lys and Brion, 
respectively 19 and 20. He was in the habit of taking 
all the girls into a room and using every kind of obscene 
artifice to procure enjoyment. It seemed to be a difficult 
task and was only attained by means of torture. Brion's 
evidence of her first introduction to him was, he made 
her kneel before him and taking pins from a bowl, stuck 
about a hundred of them in her breasts and all over her 
to a depth of about two centimeters. Then, folding a 
handkerchief in triangular shape he fixed it on her breast 
and shoulders with about twenty pins, the point between 
the breasts, and pulled violently at it. He next tore off 
bunches of hair with his fingers from her private parts, 
pinched severely her nipples, and flagellated her body with 
a martinet. Finally, after having thus tortured her several 
hours and having forced her to bear a smile on her 
countenance, he consummated a sexual connection. 

* Jules Davray. — L'amour a Paris, Paris, J. B. Perreyrol, 1890, 
12mo, plates. 

t Pierre Delcourt. — Le Vice a Paris. Alptonse Piajet, 1887, 12mo, 

102 ^laQ€Uatt0n in i^xanu, 

* The medical evidence was rather against this story as 
it was proved she had returned ten times to see Bloch. 
The other girls had met with the same treatment, hut 
Lys although acknowledging that Bloch had pricked her 
with pins and whipped her with a martinet, had not 
hurt her. 

" The guilty parties were let off easily ; this woman Mar- 
chand, one year's imprisonment, and Bloch, six months.* 

" Some in order to prepare for the venereal act are 
absolutely forced to let themselves be fustigated, often 
with the most extreme violence. There is no aristocratic 
Iwpanar that does not possess special rods for this flagel- 
lation. Others wish to beat the woman with whom they 
mount to the bedroom. There are for this class inoffen- 
sive stuffed sticks in the style of those used by circus 
clowns. The female is not hurt, but the client has the 
illusion of having beaten her. A few of these monoma- 
niacs are not satisfied with being whipped till the blood 
comes, but they ask to have long silver pins stuck in 
the skin of the scrokim. We have also been told that 
many ask the woman, expert in all these horrors, to make 
slight incisions in their flesh with a penknife. ' f 

We may add in conclusion that there exists in the French 
language a number of charming little poems on the subject 
of flagellation as an aphrodisiac, and we quote two or 
three of them for those who read this language. It would 
require a far cleverer pen than ours to do them into Eng- 
lish without destroying their delicacy and finesse. 

* Gazette des Tribunaux, Aug. 15, 1891. 

t Leo Taxil, La Prostitution Contemporaine. Paris, Librairie Popu- 
laire. n. d. (1883?) 8vo. plates. 

SWeblmJ (yaj^tidtttion. 103 



Loin de ces prisons redoutables, 

Ou Pluton aux ombres coupables 

Fait sentir son juste oourroux, 

II est dans les enfers des asiles plus doux, 
La, des myrtes touffus forment de verts ombrages, 
Qui n'ont rien des horreurs de I'^ternelle nuit. 

Des ruisseaux y coulent sans bruit, 
Des pavots languissants couronnent leurs rivages. 
On voit parmi les fleurs qui parent ce s^jour 
Hyacinthe et Naroisse et cent autres encore 
Qui, sujets autrefois de redoutable amour, 

Out pass6 sous les lois de Flore. 
Dans les sombres detours de ces paisibles lieux 

Flusieurs amants dont la m^moire 
Doit vivre &, jamais dans I'histoire, 
S'occupent encore de leurs feux. 

L'arabitieuse imprudente 

Qui voulut voir Jupiter 

Arm6 de la foudre 6clatante 
Rappelle ce plaisir qui lui couta si cher. 

La jeune amante de C^phale. 

En soupirant pour ce vainqueur, 

Ch^rit cette fleche fatale 

Dont il lui per(ja le coeur. 

Hero, d'une main tremblante, 

Tient la lampe ^tincelante 

Qui lui servit seulement 

A voir p6rir son amant. 

Ariane roule, en colere, 
Ce fil, triste instrument d'un horrible attentat, 
Tiop malheureux, li^las, d'avoir trahi son pere, 

Four n'obliger qu'un ingrat. 

Fhedre cbancelante et confuse 

Baigne mais trop tard de ses pleurs 

L'eorit oii sa main accuse 

De trop oriminelles ardours. 

104 ^iadeUatit>n in ^vancc, 

Moins coupables cent fois et plus a craindre qu'elle, 
Et Didon et Thisb^ vont se frapper le sein: 

D'un perfide ennemi, rune a le fer en main, 

L'autre, oelui d'un amant trop fidele. 
De leurs douleurs 1' amour voulut Stre t^moin, 
De couvrir son carquois il avait pris le soin 

Les arbres ^pais d'un booage, 

L'ombre discrete d'un nuage 
Adoucirent en vain I'^clat de son flambeau, 
On reconnut soudain cet ennemi nouveau 

On I'entoura, et la troupe rebelle 

Lui pr^parait des tourments inbumains. 

L'amour ne bat plus que d'une aile, 
II se soutient a peine et tombe entre leurs mains. 

Pour dfearmer ces juges implacables. 

En vain l'amour verse des pleurs. 
On enchalne ces mains qui portent dans les coeurs 

Des coups inevitables 
Attache sur un myrte, en proie a leurs fureurs, 
II va do raille morts 6prouver les horreurs. 

Partout des clameurs mena9antes 
Ont etoufiK ses plaintes languisantes. 

L'une I'eifraye avec ce fer sanglant 
Qui finit de ces jours les d^plorables restes. 
L'autre avec le debris encore etincelant 
D'un bucher, de sa mort theatre trop funeste. 
De ces pleurs endurcis par le pouvoir des dieux 
Myrrha fait contre lui de redoutables armes, 
Leur poids va I'aocabler: pauvre amour, ses alarmes 
Ne puniront que toi de son crime odieux. 

L'amour veut invoquer sa mfere 

Et par ses pleurs et par ses cris: 
Vient-eDe a son secours? non, V6nus en colere 

Insulte encore aux tourments de son fils. 
" Ah, dit-elle, a son tour qu'il eprouve ma rage. 

Je n'ai que trop souflfert de cet audaoieux. 
Des filets de Vulcain, des ris malins des dieux 

Je n'ai pas oubli6 I'outrage: 

aWebtcal 6;a)gtigation. 105 

C'est V6nus en courroux qui menace: tremblez." 
Sa main s'arme aussitSt d'un gros bouquet de roses 

De leurs boutons a peine ecloses ; 

D^ja sous ses coups redoubles, 

D'une main, b^las trop sure, 

Le sang rejaillit et couvre la verdure 

Qui pare I'immortel sejour: 

ArrStez, d^esse irrit^e, 
S'^crie avec transport la troupe ^pouvant^e, 

Lorsque nous respirions le jour, 

Dne planete infortuniSe 
Fit nos malheurs, ce ne fut pas I'amour. * 

Equally ravishing is another poem called VExamen de 
Flora, which, although almost bordering on libertinism, 
forms quite a little treatise on flagellation as a luxury. 
Words deemed too coarse, we have indicated by their initial 
letter only. 

"Flora, Jj^lr^k 

Le vieux plus que le jeune aime a polissonner, 
Parfois il lui suffit de voir, de patiner, 
De poser sur la m . . . . une brulante levre : 
II satisfait ainsi son araoureuse iievre., o 
Mais souvent, par malheur, tons ces attouchements, 
L'aspect de ces appas jeunes, frais et charmants, 
Ces formes en^jtous sens Jrop longtemps regardees, 
Dans son crane embras^ font germer des idees, 
C'est en ce moment-la, pour le mettre en 4tat, 
Et pouvoir arriver a quel que r^sultat, „ 

Qu'il faut de son metier connaltre les roueries,V 
Et n'Stre pas novice en polissonneries. 
Dans les b . . . . soignes, il est un instrument. 
Qui pour un pareil cas sert admirablement : 

* ' Nouveau choix de pieces de poesies," par Danohet, la Haye, 
1715, t let, p. 74. 

106 ^laQcUaticn in ^vancc^ 

Ce sont tout simplement deux tres fortes flcellos^g- 

Qn'on lui noue en passant par dessous les aissfelles. 

On le tient quelque temps suspendu dans les airs .... 

Alors, pour I'exciter et lui raidir les nerfs; 

Tantot, on, fait glisser.sur ses c . . . . pendantes 

De la plume de 'paon les barbes irritantes, 

TantSt aveo le doigt, fourr^ profond^ment,,^^^^ 

On oherche a stimuler.les chairs du fondement. , , X' 

Des pieds on lui chatouille artistement la plante; : 

On fait une omelette et des qu'elle est brulante, 

On I'applique aussitot sur son vieux c . . . . ride ■ . . ._ 

Si son V . . impuissant n'a pas encore b . . . . 

Malgr6 tons les moyens qui lui viennent en aide, 

Comme a tons les grands maux il faut un grand remede, 

On saisit un paquet de ^verges a deux mains, 

On fustige le vieux sur la chute des reins .... 

La douleur qu'il 6prouve est quelquefois bien grande .... 

Mais il nSj se^ plaint pas, il est heureux, il b . . . . 

On le dedroche^alors, on le met sur un lit ... . 

Pendant longtemps encore on lui 1)ranle le V . . 

A force d'agiter cet antique viscere, 

On en tire a la fin quelques gouttes d'eau claire. 

II est vrai que le corps par mille exces us6, 

Demeure aneanti, moulu, rompu, bris6. 

Qu'il est sans voix, sans soufle, et qu'un bon rhumatisme 

Est fort souvent, hdlas, le prix de son cynisme. 

Mais lorsque nous avons rempli notre devoir 

Et fait de notre mieux, nous n'avons plus a voir 

De quel mauvais cot6 se tourne la medaille .... 

Qu'on amene un sapin et que le vieux s'en aille." * 

In a small work, now extremely rare, there are some 
details connecting flagellation with the theatre, from which 
it would appear that private (for we can hardly believe 
them to have been public) scenes of this nature were 

Parnasse satyrique du XIX'"'^ siecle. 

m^tfUai ^am^ation, 107 

enacted. We give the really curious title of the book in 
question, and follow same by a short extract. 



Scenes Secretes des Foyers 


En contes un peu plus que gaillards, ornes de couplets 


Dediees aux gens des deux sexes qui se destinent au 


Que dire a cet essai sans plus de consequence, 
Qu'helas? bien fou serait celui qui mal y pense 


De rimprimerie de Crispinaille, a la Matricule, 


" Une verge tombant sur le cul d'un mich^, 
Sait provoquer, exciter la d^cbarge, 
Et dans un c. . . . fut-il m&me tres large, 
Lui faire commettre un bien joli peobe. 
Sans plus tard, troussez-vous done beau sire, 
Recevez de ma main cette correction. 
Qui de vos sens auemmtent le d^lire 
Vous instruise a foutrailler un ^ . . . .' 

Her linen flouting the wind, a birch bundle in her fist, 
she smites with double strokes the fleshy buttocks of 
the poor confectioner, and stopping now and then, she 
began once more to explain : 

108 f^lrtoellation in ^vana* 

"Apprends cher bon ami, que les coups vigoureux 
Te rendront plus sensibles aux plaisira amoureux. 
Ceux dont la nature trop lente 
Ne peut satisfaire una amante; 
Par quelques coups de verges appliques fortement 
Se portent au combat plus vigoureusement. 
Quel beau cul! Ah! dieux, je suis contente! 
Viens maintenant satisfaire une amante, 
Jettons-nous sur le lit, dans le sein du plaisir, 
De tes douleurs passees perdons le souvenir." 

In Thomas Sh^dwell's play The Virtuoso, act IV, 
there is a scene of a similar nature. The old libertine, 
Snarl, who comes to be flogged, is asked by the girl : ° I 
wonder that should please you so much that pleases me 
so little?" He replies: "I was so us'd to 't at West- 
minster-School, I cou'd never leave it off since." Otway, 
in his Venice Preserved, act III, scene I, has illustrated 
this propensity. The servile senator, Antonio, visits his 
mistress, Aquilina, to "have a game at romp ", and desires 
her to spit in his face. He plays the part of a dog, and 
gets under the table, begging her to use him like a dog, 
to kick him, etc. ; until the courtesan fetches a whip and 
flogs him out of the room. The following epigram of Kit 
Mahlowe* is to the point: 

WLben ffcancus cornea to solace wftb bis wbore, 
Ibe scn&s for roSs anb strips bfmselt stacft nafteb; 
3foc bis lust sleeps, anb will not rise before 
ffis whipping of tbe wencb (t be awalteb. 
5 envB bim not, but wisb 5 ba& tbe power, 
Zo mafte mgself bis wencb but one balf bout. 

WoBKs OF Chbistopheb Mablowe, London, 1826, vol. 3, p. 454. 

S^ettical ©altttjatiatt. 109 

That the executioner, writes P. L. Courier whether male 
or female, not unfrequently finds pleasure in administer- 
ing castigation, or in witnessing its infliction, even to 
one of his or her own sex, there can be no doubt, as this 
opinion has been expressed by numerous authors. 

The following small poems must complete the collec- 
tion : — 


Une femme se confessa, j.- 
Le confesseur a la sourdine 
Derriere I'autel la troussa 
Pour Ini dormer la discipline, 
L epoux non loin de la cache (j 
De misfticdrde touclie, 
Ofifrit pour elle dos et fesses. 
Le femme y consentit d'abord: 
Je sens, dit-elle, ma faiblesse, 
Mon mari sans doute est plus fort, 
Sus done, mon pfere, touchez fort, 
Car je suis grande p^cheresse. * 


A I'age de douze ans, pour certain grave cas 

Que je sais, et ne dirai pas, 

Lise du fouet fut menac^e. ^ 
A sa maman, justement courroucee 

Lise r^pondit fierement: 

Vous avez tout lieu de vous plaindre, 

Mais pour le fouet tout douceraent, 
Je suis d'age a Taimer, et non pas a le craindre. t 

• Bernard de La Monnoie. 
f Joujou des demoiselles. 

110 ^lnQcllation in ^vaxue, 


Jupiter,pr§te-moi ta fo'idre, 
S'^cria Lyooris un jonr : 
Donne, que je r^duise en poudre, 
Le Temple ou j'ai connu I'Amour, 
Aloide, que ne suis-je arm^e 
De ta massue et de tes traits, 
Pour venger la terre alarm^e, 
Bt punir un dieu que je hais. 
M6d6e, enseigne-moi I'usage 
De tes plus noirs enchantements, 
Formons pour lui quelque breuvage 
Egal au poison des Amans. 
Ah, si dans ma fureur extreme 
Je tenois ce monstre odieux, . . . 
Le voila, lui dit 1' Amour meme, 
Qui soudain parut a ses yeux. 
Venge-toi, punis si tu I'oses, 
Interdite a oe prompt retour, 
Elle prit im bouquet de roses 
Pour donner le fouet a I'Amour. 
On dit mSme que la bergere 
Dans ses bras n'osant le presser, 
En frappant d'une main l^gere, 
Craignoit encor de le blesser. * 

* M. Bernard, Tr^sor du Parnasse, Londres, 1770 , tome V, p. 255. 

Wherein the question is discpssed whether men shall 


Ew subjects are more important than that of cor- 
I rection in the domestic circle. In these "hot, 
piping times " of the " Modern Woman's " unpleasant as- 
sertiveness ; of " Advanced Education for Females ' ; of the 
gradual usurpation by women of public functions hitherto 
discharged by men, we believe that the discussion of this 
question will excite general interest. There has long been 
a growing feeling in the masculine bosom that a crisis is 
fast approaching. The worst of it is that hitherto there 
has appeared no way of escape. Argue with the modern 
"blue stocking", and you are lost. Her tongue moves 
with far greater celerity than can yours, and her naturally 
logical mind, sharpened by the "Higher Education", will 
smash your arguments to atoms. Use sarcasm, and she 
will reply with sneer. Employ invective, and she will 
launch at you the vocabulary of a Xantippe. If you 
threaten her with force, she will retaliate with defiant 
boast about the law. Resort to tears cunningly evoked, 
and her heart steeled to hardness by the doctrines of 


112 ^laQeilaiion in ^xanu, 

Stuart Mill, will laugh you to scorn. The 'modern 
woman " in brief, has absolutely " no fear of man before 
her eyes." From her breast have gone out all sparks of 
womanly pity, as well as all feeling of respect. Not only 
has she artfully prevailed upon man to maintain her, but, 
what is far worse, she now ousts him from the public 
service, and puts him to "open shame." For the last five 
decades men have been silently groaning under a slowly 
accumulative load of suffering, and looking anxiously about 
him for a way of salvation. 

In vain has he tried all possible ways and means. Each 
effort has proved fruitless, and his " last state worse than 
the first. " Like " a dog who returns to his vomit, or a 
pig to his wallowing in the mire," he has been forced to 
go back and submit to his tormentress, and acknowledge 
again the supremacy of the female tyrant. 

The preceding remarks apply of course only to the 
hapless mortal saddled with an educated virago. The lot 
of the man blessed with a stupid mate of the slow-going, 
old-fashioned, breeding school is vastly different. 

Jeremy Taylor finely exclaimed: " A good wife is 
Heaven's last best gift to man, his angel and minister of 
graces innumerable, his gem of many virtues, his casket 
of jewels. Her voice is sweet music; her smiles his 
brightest day ; her kiss the guardian of his innocence ; her 
arms the pale of his safety, the balm of his health, the 
balsam of his life ; her industry his surest wealth ; her 
economy his safest steward; her lips his faithful coun- 
sellors; her bosom the softest pillow of his cares; and her 
prayers the ablest advocates of Heaven's blessing on his 
head." We may add that her material virtues are as 
serious as the more ethereal. 

%i)e ^ovvection of S&ii>c$. 113 

His high-breasted partner knows only one concern, to 
bear children, show her cooking capacities and keep her 
husband warm on winter nights. When it pleases him to 
get drunk she is solicitous that he should meet with no 
accident ; when, for a moment he may forget the " wife 
of his bosom ; " and turns his eyes unto " strange flesh " , 
she winks at his offences, knowing that her superior charms 
will presently win him back. Does he desire to try the 
strength of his muscles in the absence of men, she bears 
his blows with resignation, and even feels grateful at such 
demonstrations of real affection. * For abuse she returns 
smiles, and measures the depth of her lord's love by the 
frequency of his chastisement. As these words may seem 
strange to those people who have not had the advantage 
of being brought up in a well-regulated home, we subjoin 
an extract from letters written by a young English wife 
to her husband. They were communicated to us by the 
gentleman who received them from his spouse while absent 
from home. 


.... I authorise you to ask me to do all you wish, even if, as you say, 
it may be humiliating for me, as I understand and should very much 
like, I think, to taste the pleasure of perfect docility in love, a thing 

* Alphonse Daudet has graphically pourtrayed a scene of this 
kind in his ' Sapho." We cite the passage because unreflecting people 

may fancy that our remarks are meant humorously; "Et puis le 

bouquet du bagne! Depuis le temps que tu vivais avec un honnMe 
homme.... 9a t'a sembW bon, hein?.... Avez-vous du vous en 
fourrer de ces caresses Ah! salet6! liens " 

"Elle vit venir le coup sans I'^viter, le recjut en pleine figure, puis 
avec un grondement sourd de douleur, de joie, de victoire, elle sauta 
sur lui, I'empoigna a pleins bras: ' M'ami, m'ami . . . . tu m'aimes 
encore ' et ils roul^rent ensemble sur le lit." 

114 ^iaQcUdtion in ^vancc. 

quite new to me, because generally, in ordinary life, docility and 
submission are unknown to me. But with you, I should be happy to 
bend to all your caprices, to execute your orders, to violate all laws 
of pudicity, to let myself be caressed as you will and to give you 
back afterwards caress upon caress, to intoxicate myself with your 
presence, to roll myself in your arms, to let myself be whipped, 
pinched and bitten even, if you wish. Yes, one may enjoy by this 
feeling of exquisite slavery, and I should experience great happiness 
to be in bonds before you. I can realise the strange feeling of suffering 
with its latent pleasure, which I believe is the only voluptuousness 
that I should care for. 

.... I am happy in forcing myself not to revolt when you flog 
me with your riding whip, and the voluntary violence that I use to 
keep quiet in order to please you, troubles me deliciously. . . . 

.... I try and force myself to be submissive and obedient. I 
promise never to sulk or to be vexed, however exacting you may 
be, and to hide nothing of what I may think or feel. I feel that 
not one of the caresses that you order me to execute or that you 
bid me to submit to is repulsive to me, especially as I am sure to 
please you in lending myself to your voluptuous caprices. 

.... Tour presence procures me a sensation of sweet intoxication, 
heightened by the authoritative caresses of the husband and master 
I love and to whom I abandon myself entirely without resistance or 
arriere-pensee, suppressing joyfully all my own desires and my per- 
sonality iu the face of his will and his strength. . . . 

I will never revolt again to begin with. I will voluntarily and 
lovingly submit to your caresses and may perhaps, I confess, disobey 
on purpose to make you punish me and treat me roughly so as to 
feel your manly strength overwhelm me, bending me, feeble and 
weak, to be fastened up and punished. . . . 

I like you to press me tightly in your arms and hurt me and 
shake me. I love to feel your strength. 

.... Adored master, use and abuse my entire and inexhaustible 
good will. Humiliate, tease, lower me and 1 am happy. I am proud 
to understand your ideas, because I love you and I wish to continue to 
learn more of this passionate devotion, that finds only happiness in the 
voluntary annihilation of self, in the moral and physical degradation of a 
woman by the man she loves and to whom she belongs body and soul. 

%f)c (^ovuctiono^ ^\i>c§* 115 

.... It is stupid and commonplace to be loved by a man -who feels 
obliged to do all your bidding and is tbus a slave to woman's will. 
If you were to submit to my caprices and not know bow to domineer 
over me and force me to accept your ideas and tastes, 1 should 
despise you and should feel no regret in being unfaithful, because you 
would not be a husband for me, but a sort of mechanical nonentity 
without a mind, without moral force and consequently unworthy of 
all love. 

.... I love to make you punish me for refusing to obey. My pleasure 
is to revolt a little now and again to force you to be severe, to put 
you out of temper and then obtain my pardon by ray obedience. 
Forgive me, I told you I would never revolt again. But this is not 
real rebellion. Of that you know I am incapable. 

English wives, we know, are generally said to possess 
a monopoly of patience and submission. This is not strictly 
correct. French married ladies, noted so much for their 
pride and spirit, may also be thoroughly tamed and rendered 
obedient, when their yoke-fellow possesses a stronger will. 
We have seen many instances of this. Tollowing is an 
extract from the letter of a highly virtuous French widow, 
who was corresponding with a gentleman with a view to 


"You speak of corrections; I am convinced that few women have 
had to undergo more corrections than have I, and I do not doubt for 
one moment that there are many slaves who have felt and undergone 
less often than I the punishment of the whip. 

' I have no need to add for the rest, that it is by bodily corrections 
and by these only that a woman can attain to that degree of sub- 
mission and humility which will render her as humble and submissive 
as a slave, and, even then, this woman must be of a lively imagi- 
nation and impassioned nature. 

'In this case the woman accepts the yoke with joy and knows how 
to gladly stoop to it, being accustomed to humble herself before the 

116 ^la^cUation in Stance* 

man she loves, slie will each day humble herself more and more, 
and that which to certain women would he an insupportable existence, 
becomes to her on the contrary a life of enjoyment, for both spirit 
and nerves; she gives herself up entirely, she has made the sacrifice 
of herself, she really belongs body and soul to her master, husband 
or lover. 

" I know my character and temperament, I could not love a feeble 
man, a man who did not know how to rule over me, to subjugate 
me entirely. 

" As I had the honour to inform you, my husband often flogged me, 
but nearly always with a hunting-whip, or a martinet, or else with 
a riding- whip or even with a cord. I need not tell you "that in order 
to receive these bodily corrections I used to strip myself stark naked, 
as he said. These punishments he inflicted on everj' part of my 
body without exception, and I sometimes bore the traces for more 
than a fortnight. 

" I habitually went on my knees, or prostrated my face to the floor. 

° But before commencing the castigation, he used, to employ his own 
expression, to make up my face, that is to say, he began by smacking 
it vigorously, and pulling and pinching my ears till the blood came. 

" During the whole time of the correction, I used to take pride in 
not uttering a single ci-y, or complaint, and this exasperated him. 

" I was sometimes covered with blood, and I was all in a fever, but 
a few caresses would make all well again." 

We give the original text of this letter, in the event 
of any person doubting its genuineness. 

" Vous parlez de corrections; peu de femmes, j'en suis persuad^e, 
n'ont eu a en supporter autant que moi, et je ne doute pas un seul 
instant que bien des esclaves ont senti et subi moins souvent que 
moi des corrections par le fouet. 

' Pour le surplus, je n'ai pas besoin d'ajouter que c'est par les correc- 
tions corporelles et seulement par les corrections oorporelles qu'une 
femme atteindra ce degre de soumission et d'humilit^ qui la rend 
aussi soumise et aussi humble qu'une esclave, et encore faut-il que 
cette femme soit une c6r6brale, une passionn^e. 

" En ce cas, la femme accepte avec jouissance le joug et sait s'y 
plier avec bonheur, habitude a s'humilier devant I'homme aim6, elle 

%f)c (^ovucHon of S&x\>e»* 117 

s'liumiliera toujours davantage et oe qui pour certaines femmes serait 
une vie insupportable devient au contraire pour elle une existence 
de jouissance, pour I'esprit et les nerfs, elle se donne toute entifere, 
elle a fait le sacrifice de son moi, arae et corps elle appartient r^ellement 
a son maltre, mari ou amant. 

" Je connais mon caractfere et mon temperament, je n'aimerais pas 
un homme faible, un homme qui ne saurait pas me dominer, me 
dompter toute entifere. 

" Comme j'ai eu I'honneur de vous le dire, mon mari me flagellait 
souvent, raais presque toujours au fouet de ohasse, ou au martinet, 
ou a la cravaoke ou encore aveo une corde. Je n'ai pas besoin de 
vous dire, que pour recevoir ces corrections corporelles, je me mettais 
absolument nue, a poil, comme il disait, les corrections m'^taient 
inflig^es sur toutes les parties du corps sans exception; souvent pen- 
dant plus de 15 jours j'en portals les traces. 

" Habituellement je me mettais a genoux ou prostern^e, face oontre 
le plancber. 

" Mais avant de comraencer la correction proprement dite, il me 
faisait, pour me servir de son expression 'la face.' C'est-a-dire qu'il 
commenpait par me giffler d'importance, et par me tirer et me frotter 
les oreilles jusqu'au sang. 

' Pendant toute la dur^e de la correction, je mettais mon amour-propre 
a ne point pousser un seul cri, ni une seule plainte et souvent cela 

' Souvent il me mettait en sang, j'en avals la flevre, raais sous quelques 
caresses cela passait." 

There are of course, instances where the lady, spoilt 
by Nature in the making, usurps her husband's punitive 
rights and, instead of quietly submitting herself to the 
husband's rod, endeavours to apply, o Sacrilege ! corporal 
castigation to her married lord. Can any enormity be 
greater; any crime more contrary to Biblical precept 
and common-sense? On taking up Le Petit Parisien for 
November 30th last, the following paragraph met our 
astonished gaze :- - 

118 ^a^dlaiion in ^vame. 


" No two beings can be more ill-assorted than the 
married couple P . . . While the husband, a commercial 
clerk, is of weakly constitution and of timid disposition, 
his spouse, on the contrary, is a florid-faced matron, richly 
developed in form, with a loud voice and a quick hand, 
altiiough, and perhaps because, she was accustomed to 
wield the washerwoman's beetle. 

° If P . . . happened to come home a little late at meal 
times, his wife would kick up a row, which invariably 
ended by his coming in for a more or less severe leathering. 

' The unhappy wight had in the beginning vainly endeav- 
oured to rebel against these encroachments of his better 
half upon his prerogatives, but she, after two or three 
regular pugilistic engagements, remained mistress of the 
situation of which she took abominable advantage. 

" Augustus P . . . had several times deserted the marital 
abode. But these escapades never lasted very long, for 
his wife always succeeded in finding out his retreat and 
in carrying him triumphantly home again. 

" Yesterday, after another domestic shindy, P . . . again 
abandoned the conjugal roof, and resolved this time not 
to return to the sweets of married life ; he determined, 
not only figuratively but in deed, to " smash the windows." * 

" After having given himself up to copious libations in 
the neighbourhood, Augustus P . . . was run in at Vaugirard, 
where he was found throwing stones into the glass windows 
of a urinal (!) 

* " Casser Us vitj-e.i,' to smash the windows, is a popular Parisian 
expression, synonymus with the English : " to smash every thing, to 
play the devil, " etc. 

%i)0 ^ovvecHon of mii)e§* 119 

" Taken to the nearest police-station, our commercial 
clerk narrated his long martyrdom, terminating with an 
eloquent plea to be locked up. 

"'I implore you,' said he to the commissary who was 
questioning him, 'send me to jail; it is for rae the only 
means of being quit of my wife.' 

" But the latter was not slow in discovering the intentions 
of her husband, when she came to claim him at the 

" The offence was not a grave one, and the damage 
having been paid, P . . . was released. The magistrate 
however advised the washerwoman to treat her husband 
in future with more forbearance." 

° Will she keep her promise ? " 

Epoux mal assortis. Eien de plus dissemblable que les 6poux P. . 
Alors que le mari, un employ^ de commerce, est d'un temperament 
maladif et d'un naturel timide, sa femme, au contraire, est une 
raatrone au visage colore, aux formes opulentes, au verbe haut et a 
la main legfere, bieu qu'habitu^e a manierlebattoir de lablanchisseuse. 

Auguste P. . . nmtre-t-il avec quelque retard a I'heure du repas, sa 
femme lui fait une scene, laquelle se termine invariablement par une 
correction plus ou moins dure. 

Le malheureux, dans les premiers temps, avait vainement tent^ de 
r^agir contre les empi^tements de sa moitie, qui, apres plusieurs pu- 
gilats en regie, etait restee mattresse de la situation et en abusait 

A diverses reprises, Auguste P. . . deserta le toit conjugal. Mais 
ces escapades ne furent jamais de longue duree, car sa femme par- 
vint cbaque fois a decouvrir sa retraite et le ramena au logis. 

Hier, a la suite d'une sc6ne nouvelle, P. . . abandonnait de nouveau 
le domicile conjugal, et, bien decide a ne pas reprendre la vie com 
mune, se d^oidait, non point au flgurd, a " casser les vitres." 

Apres s'Stre livr^ a des libations oopieuses dans le voisinage, 

120 fJlrtgeWatiott In ^vance* 

Augusts P. . . 6tait arrets place de Vaugirard, alors qu'il jetait des 
pierres dans les vitres d'une vespasienne. 

Conduit au poste de police voisin, Temployd de commerce raconta 
son long martyre et termina par un ^loq^uent plaidoyer: 

— Je vous en supplie! disait-il au commissaire qui I'interrogeait, 
envoyez-moi au Depot; c'est pour moi le seul moyen d'etre d^bar- 
rass^ de ma femme. 

Mais celle-ci ne tarda pas a oonnaitre les intentions de son mari, 
qu'elle vint r^clamer au poste. 

Le d6lit n'^tant pas grave et la ' casse " 6tant pay^e, P. . . a 6t6 
remis en liberty. Le magistrat a toutefois engag6 la blanchisseuse a 
traiter son mari avec plus de menagements. 

Tiendra-t-elle sa promesse ? 

In discussing conjugal correction, we lay claim to no 
originality. The subject is as old as our first parents. 
The witty author of the History of the Bod says very 
justly, " If we are to accept the Rabbinical interpretation 
of the account of the fall of man, flagellation as domestic 
discipline commenced in the garden of Eden, and the 
mother of all mankind was the first to apply the Rod. 
The rabbis declare that when Adam pleaded that the 
woman gave him of the tree and he did eat, he means 
that she gave it him palpably — that, in fact, she laid it 
on so energetically that he was forced to give in, and " did 
eat" under compulsion; and many ladies, we know, have 
followed her example and assumed a right to correct their 
husbands. Butler, in his" Hudibras," gives notable instance : 

"Bib not a certain Xabg wbip 
®f late bee busband's own Xor&ablp ? 
anJ), tbougb a ©ranbee ct tbe Ibouse, 
Clawcb b(m wftb fun&amental blows, 
tt(e& blm Btacfi=nafte6 to a bct5=po0t 
Bnb firfteb bis blbe as ft sb'baD r(& post ; 
anb after, fn tbe Sessions Court, 
Wbere wbippfng's jubgeb, bab bonour for't." 

%^c ^ovuction of 28ibe§. 121 

The noble person thus alluded to was Lord Munson, 
who lived at Bury St. Edmunds, and was one of the 
King's judges. To shew her disapprobation of his conduct 
in changing his political principles, his lady, with the 
assistance of her maids, tied him to a bedpost, and gave 
him a flagellation till he promised to behave better in 
future; and for this salutary discipline Lady Munson 
received thanks in open court. 

On the other hand, the majority of lawgivers have been 
extraordinarily liberal towards men in the question-of 
domestic discipline. The case has often been argued 
whether a man may honourably fustigate his wife, and 
the point has usually been settled that his right to do so 
depends on the behaviour and temper of the wife. Steele 
remarks in the Spectator that there are undeniably perverse 
jades that fall to men's lot with whom it requires more 
than common proficiency in philosophy to be able to live. 
When they are joined to men of warm spirits without 
temper or learning, they are frequently corrected with 
stripes. It has been argued that woman was created to 
be the helpmeet of man, to be his ministering angel, and 
to be good, quiet, and orderly, and when she is really 
such she readily submits to the authority of her husband, 
and is perfectly docile under his government. When 
however, she is the opposite of all this, there is need for 
the Rod, and she must be dealt with according to the 
advice of the poet. 

a:bou wilt be constrafneO ber bcab to puncb, 
2lnb let not tblne ege tben spare ber: 
©rasp tbe flvBt weapon tbat comes to banb, 
jDot3e=wbfp, or cubgel, or walfting sticft. 

122 flagellation in ^vanu* 

®c batter ber well wttb tbc watmfng pan; 
l>rea& not to fling ber &own on tbe eartb, 
lEcrve well tbfne arm, let tbg beart be stout 
Be Iron, as brass, or stone, or steel." 

Or the advice of the Roman oracle given in such a 
case may be followed with advantage. A man had a 
wife full of bad temper. He went to consult the oracle, 
and asked what should be done with a garment which 
had moths in it. "Dust it," replied the oracle. "And," 
added the man, " I have a wife who is full of "her nasty- 
little tempers, should not she be treated in a similar 
manner?" "To be sure," was the reply, "DUST HER 

Were the sage advice of the old "oracle" more generally 
adopted to-day, wives would not only enjoy better health, 
but there would be fewer marital escapades. Women 
like children have need of correction, and what love- 
lier sight than to see the woman adored on her knees 
before us begging not to be whipped ? The birch rod would 
prevent divorce. We find in the London Examiner for 
October 11, 1856, quite a recent illustration of the right 
of chastising wives. It is there stated: "A very large 
number of wife-beating cases have recently been brought 
before the magistrates of Whitehaven, where there exists 
a sect of professing Christians, who propagate the opinion 
that the practice is in accordance with the word of God. 
The Rev. Geo. Bird, formerly rector of Cumberworth, near 
Hadderfield, has established himself there, and drawn 
together a congregation, and within the last few weeks 
it has transpired he holds the doctrine that it is perfectly 
scriptural for a man to beat his wife. About six weeks 
ago, James Scott, a member of Mr. Bird's congregation, 

^i)e ^ovvccixon of 2Sitsc§« 123 

was summoned by his wife for brutally beating her, because 
she refused to attend the same place of worship that he 
did. When before the magistrates, Mrs. Scott said she 
had no wish that her husband should be punished, if he 
would promise not to use her badly again. When 
asked by the magistrates whether he would make the 
requisite promise, he refused, saying. 'Am I to obey the 
laws of God or the laws of man ?' As he would not give 
the promise, the magistrates committed him to prison for 
a month, with hard labour. The Rev. Mr. Bird has sinae 
delivered a course of lectures on the subject of Scott's 
conviction. He contends that it is a man's duty to rule 
his own household; and if his wife refuse to obey his 
orders, he is justified, according to the law of God, in 
beating her in order to enforce obedience." 

We must mention the case of a clergyman living in 
London, who, ' gave correction of a schoolboy to his 
servant maid;" and who, when sued at Westminster, made 
an eloquent defence, asserting his right to do what he had 
done. He likewise appealed to the public " in print con- 
cerning the lawfulness of the flagellation he inflicted." 

Some stupid people, we are fully aware, will regard our 
observations as extravagant, and even fantastic. Others, 
more sensible, will recognise that our reasonings are 
governed by logic and permeated with philanthropic motives. 
We go further and assert that all English history as well as 
present and experience substantiate the doctrine of " the 
proper government of a man's ovvn wife." It has been 
pointed out that "among other rights which the husband 
possessed over his wife, during the whole Anglo-Saxon 
period in this country, was that of beating her." The 
civil law allowed the husband, for some misdemeanours, 

124 ^iaQcUation in ^vanu, 

flagellis et fustibus acriter verberare uxorem, for others only 
modicam castigationem adhibere.* "But," says Blackstone 
in his Commentaries, " with us, in the politer reign of 
Charles II., this power of correction began to be doubted, 
and a wife may now have security of the peace against 
her husband. Yet the lower rank of people, who were 
always fond of the old common law, still claim and exert 
their ancient privilege." Authorities are not agreed as to 
what constituted a " moderate castigation, " or the instru- 
ment wherewith it was to be inflicted. A Welsh law 
fixes as a proper allowance ' Three blows with a broom- 
stick on any part of the person except the head : ° and 
another fixes the size of the stick at the length of the 
husband's arm, and the thickness of his middle finger. 
Another says a man may lawfully correct his wife with 
a stick no bigger than his thumb. A man used to tell 
his wife that, though a husband might not by law beat 
his spouse with a stick of a certain size, he might safely 
do so with a switch or with his hand. Some men, not 
inclined to be severe, used to restrict the size of the 
thickness of the rod to the little finger. On one of the 
seats of the chancel of Holy Trinity Church, at Stratford- 
on-Avon, is a carving representing a husband administering 
somewhat more than modicam castigation em to his wife, 
who figures in a very novel and uncomfortable position. 

Where the right to correct his wife is neglected by a 
husband, what is more natural than that the necessary 
correction should be administered by others P When a 
woman is left to her own devices, she often developes 

* With whips and cudgels to thrash his wife severely, — to apply 
moderate chastisement. 

Xf)c ^ottcctwn of S&m$* 125 

much il]-humour and a proudness of spirit that only per- 
sonal beating will drive out of her. Nature has appointed 
the husband for this office; but, if he neglect his duty, 
and it be undertaken by others, no hypocritical outcry 
must be raised on the score of impropriety. Boys who 
have not been corrected at home, fall often in after life 
under the magistrates' cat-o'-nine-tails. Girls, grown up 
to young-womanhood become castaways, when a little 
wholesome birching at home would have saved their erring 
feet. The Marchioness of Tresnel was indecently beaten 
on the King's high- way, when the castigation that should 
have curbed her haughty spirit could have well been effected 
years earlier by her lawful husband. There is a good 
story told of the Linlithgow shoemaking boys, but we do 
not vouch for its truth. Linlithgow, in Scotland, is famed 
as a seat of the boot and shoe manufacture, at which 
trade a large number of apprentices were at one time 
employed. A number of the lads were parish children, 
and many of them were well disciplined by their mistresses 
in the orthodox fashion ; indeed, the ladies of Linlithgow 
were adepts at using the strap: one buxom dame in par- 
ticular was so good at it that she could untruss and polish 
off half a dozen of her husband's apprentices in less than 
ten minutes! Others of the Linlithgow ladies were also 
adepts at flogging. After a time some of the boys began 
to object to being so often laid over their mistresses' knees. 
They occasionally met together, and murmured their com- 
plaints to each other, determining that some day they 
would have a great revenge, and so they had. Four of 
the masters, it was known, were to proceed on a particular 
occasion to Edinburgh^ on business; and as these were 
just the men whose lads were oftenest licked by the 

126 ^la^eUaiion in ^yvance, 

mistress, the day in question was chosen as the day of 
revenge. At a given moment the mistresses of the ill- 
used boys were seized, each in her own house, and being 
made ready by willing hands, were treated to a dose of the 
' oil of strap," as flogging was then called, each lad laying 
on a few stripes with all his might. Dire threats of retribu- 
tion were uttered, but when it was found, upon inquiry, 
that more than one mistress had suffered a similar fate, 
prudence dictated silence, and it was not till some time 
after the event that the masters came to know how their 
apprentices had served their wives while they were absent 
at Edinburgh. A similar story is told of some weaver 
boys of Kilmarnock. The mistresses in that town, we believe, 
were always greater floggers than the masters, and were 
constantly having the 'prentices over their knees for even 
very slight ofPences. 

Let us not be misunderstood. We are no advocates 
for general and indiscriminate birching. The time, we 
hope, will never come, when the boy shall birch his 
mother, the father his daughter-in-law, and the brother 
his sister, or maiden aunt. There are circumstances when 
such action is admissible, but they do not often occur. 
We tremble to think what dreadful accidents might occur 
if universal flogging were to come into vogue. Fortunately 
the law has taken such eventualities into consideration. 
" A straw-plait manufacturer at a village in Bedfordshire, 
who had been in the habit of whipping females in his 
employment, was upon one occasion, much to his astonish- 
ment, sentenced to six months^ imprisonment for indecently 
birching a girl who was in his service. We were recently 
told a story of a parish girl who obtained a coronet 
through being whipped by her mistress, a lady's shoemaker. 

%f)c (^otvcctlon of S&i\>e§* 127 

The girl had been sent to wait upon a lady of rank with 
some ball shoes, and had behaved so awkwardly in fitting 
them that the lady was greatly offended. She sent her 
son with a note to the shop threatening to withdraw her 
custom, which so incensed the girl's mistress that she 
began to punish her before the astonished messenger had 
time to withdraw. The boy being struck with the hitherto 
hidden charms of the girl there and then revealed, sent 
her to be educated, and afterwards made her his wife; 
and the husband succeeding to a title she became a 
COUNTESS ! " Mistresses once had the right, no longer used 
in these degenerate days, to chastise their woman-folk. 

The girls employed by milliners, mantle makers, stay 
makers, straw bonnet makers, and in other kinds of work- 
rooms were all liable to the Rod, and many of them were 
severely birched during their periods of apprenticeship. 
A fashionable milliner in Pall Mall, who had a very large 
establishment, was noted a hundred years ago for her 
severity as a mistress. She had learned how to use the 
Rod whilst living in Paris as an abigail in a family of rank. 

The chastisement of young females may, however, be 
carried too far. The sadistic practices revealed by the 
notable Defert case may still be present in the minds of 
those who were living in France in the days of the Third 
Napoleon. So extraordinary was this affair, and of such 
peculiar atrocity, that the account of the trial reads more 
like a chapter of Justine, than anything which could really 
have happened in the present century. On the 3rd of 
December, 1859, Nicolas and Rose Defekt, man and wife, 
inhabiting the village of ' Ripont, canton de Ville-sur- 
Tourbe, " were tried before the " Cour d' Assises de la 
Marne," and condemned to " travaux fords d perpStuitd," 

128 ^HQcUaiicn in ^vanu* 

for flogging and otherwise barbarously ill-treating their 
daughter, Adeline, 17 years of age. 

We translate from LA. PRESSE of 17th Dec. 1859. 

" Each day, morning and evening Adeline was flogged 
on the naked loins and thighs with a martinet. On some 
occasions even her father suspended her by the wrists to 
the ceiling, and, in that situation, after lifting up her 
clothes, administered strokes of the martinet on every part 
of her body. 

Finally, one evening, in the month of March, the ac- 
cused took her into a bakehouse at the back of the kit- 
chen, there attached her solidly by means of ropes to a 
bench, her breast and belly being fixe 1 against the wood ; 
he then took from a fire-pan, which he had prepared, 
some burning charcoal, and passing them along his daugh- 
ter's legs, burned them here and there, renewing the 
charcoal as the pieces became extinguished. He had 
already burned her in the neck by the same means . . . 

The following morning she was again tied down to the 
bench, flagellated with the martinet ; and, this first torture 
ended, her mother entered, armed with a stick, round one 
of which was enrolled a rag soaked in nitric acid, and 
with this sort of sponge, she slowly bathed the sores result- 
ing from the burns of the previous day. 

Not only were the open sores flagellated with a martinet, 
but her bleeding flesh was also beaten with a little board 
spiked with nails. The following day this torture was 
inflicted on her; worse still, her mother burned the right 
cheek of her back-side by holding lighted matches to it 
until they were entirely consumed ; after which she poured 
nitric acid upon the wounds... 

%ffc ^oft^ctiott of aSiUeS* 129 

Defert used to address the grossest and most cynical 
speeches to his daughter ; and, in significant conversations, 
had endeavoured to initiate her into an order of ideas 
which he ought to have carefully hidden from her. He 
had even attempted certain touchings of her person; but 
the revelations of Adeline went no further, she refusing 
to give more explanation on the subject. At all events it 
is certain that her mother had been fully informed by her 
of all that had taken place. 

However, she was destined to suffer a new outrage and 
a fresh torture. One evening, in the month of April, her 
brothers having gone to bed, the accused made her strip 
to the loins in the kitchen, and when she was thus half 
naked, she was put down on her back on the floor; one 
of her" feet was tied to a table, the other to the handle 
of a door: her legs in this position being lifted up and 
apart. Her father then introduced forcibly into her sexual 
organs a piece of wood which he maintained there during 
several minutes; the mother assisted her husband and 
helped him to prepare this crime. The piece of wood, a stick 
of elder, was found. The doctor had been able to note 
the strange disorders caused by this barbarous act to the 
organ. He had suspected the cause of it, by the very 
reason of the ravages he had observed. The avowals of 
Adeline, finally explained his conjectures." 

For the information of virtuous English readers who 
horror-stricken by these details of diabolism , may, in their 
haste, imagine that such acts of cruelty are peculiar to 
the French, we cite the following London case reported 
by Pisanus Fraxi in Centurta aLlbrorum HbBCOn- 
bttorum (page 463): — 

130 ^a^cUation in fyfance. 

The case of Mns. Beowneiqg of Fleur-de-Iuce Court, London, will 
be too familiar to my readers to need any details ; suffice it to men- 
tion that she was executed at Tyburn, in 1767, for the murder of 
her apprentice, Maey Clittoed, who had died of the effects of the 
inhuman treatment which she had received at the hands of her 
mistress. A writer of the time was hold enough to print an apology 
for this wretched female, and to argue in defence of excessive fustiga- 
tions on all occasions. * I extract a few of his remarks which have 
special reference to the matter in hand, and from which it would 
appear that the whipping of apprentices was very general in that 

I have thought (observes this cynical writer) 1 should do a good 
Work to my fellow-citizens and to the Public if I could establish the 
following propositions : 

First. — That Mrs. Browarigg did not suffer in consequence of 
merely whipping with severity her faulty apprentices. 

Secondly. — That the death of Mary Clifford, following on her 
punishment, has nothing in it which should deter Parents, Guardians, 
Masters and Mistresses, Schoolmasters and Schoolmistresses, from 
using all the modes of correction, which the good old customs of 
this country allow, and by which the peace and order of this com- 
munity are chiefly maintained. 

First. — It is evident to any man of sense that Mrs. Brownrigg 
was the victim of her own imprudence. She might have whipt her 
apprentices all she did, and even more, and attracted no public notice 
whatever, if she had only fed them well, lodged them commodiously, 
treated them with general kindness, when not correcting them, and, 
before all, paying due and proper attention to the healing of their 
sores and their general health. Her neglect of their bodies after 
whipping is positively surprising. If not from humanity, yet even 
for the gratification of her own taste, one would imagine that she 
would prefer to have clean and fresh skin to ilog, rather than corrupt 
and ulcerated flesh: it is quite unexcusable. In all well-ordered 
Seminaries the bottoms are dressed as regularly and as neatly as 

* mx3. 3B1R®'M1fi1R5(B(5'S CBSE ffSJIRXl? COlKSSDEIRED. 
Addressed to the Citizens of London hy One of themselves, London 

%\)e ^ovvectxon of 26it»e§* 131 

the pupils. When the Rogue has been flayed at the Cart's-arse, or 
the soldier sacrified at the triangle, he receives the best medical 
assistance to promote his recovery. A good Master or Mistress will 
have Rags and Ointment ready as Rods, and although it may be 
sometimes necessary to return to a Back or Backside, before the 
marks of a former flogging have disappeared (else a sore bottom 
would be an excuse for any fault), yet the repeated punishment should 
always be followed by redoubled care. The evidence of the surgeon 
of the hospital, to which Mary Clifford was conveyed, was to the 
eifect ' that the wounds she had received at the whippings, for want 
of proper care, occasioned her death." There is no reason to believe 
but that, if she had been humanely and skilfully attended to after 
her six whippings, she would have been as well as ever: though 
no doubt, six successive whippings in one day are sharp practice; 
yet on this point we can form no opinion till we know the amount 
of each whipping, and the separate provocations: the whole may not 
have been three dozen lashes, and we remember, in our school-ex- 
perience, seeing a lad, now an Alderman of this City, horsed ten 
different times till he confessed that he had told a lie : he perhaps 
owes it to those ten successive whippings that he has been so honest 
a man ever since: but he was three days in the hands of the Doctors, 
and looked very rueful, when he returned to school. Makt Jones, 
another prentice girl, seems to have been none the worse for her 
punishments, the mode of which was both convenient and ingenious, 
and will certainly be adopted in many households, when they come 
to hear of it. 

Two chairs were laid down on the kitchen-floor in such a manner 
that one supported the other: the girl was then fastened tight on 
their backs, either naked or with her clothes over her head, and 
received her allowance. 

The conduct too of the jury in the case of John Bkownkigg proves 
that they did not connect the death of Mary Clifford with the whip- 
pings she had got. For this young man, either from pleasure in the 
sport or out of affection to his mother (who was much beloved by 
her fifteen children, though she probably did not spare the Rod in 
bringing them up), took a large and frequent part in the chastisement 
of the prentices, and was nevertheless acquitted of the charge of 
murder. He had several times flogged Maey Mitchell with great 

132 ^UQciiation in ^vanu: 

gusto — tying her up to a staple on one occasion stark naked, for stealing 
some chestnuts, and using the horsewhip vigorously; nor did he pay 
less attention to Mary Clifford, whipping her, one day, till he was 
quite tired, for not putting up a hed, and, another time, when his 
mother's strength was quite exhausted, topping up the punishment 
with twenty cuts. 

All this would, I am convinced, have been set down to the lot of 
workhouse-girls who had fallen upon a hard family and were being 
taught the means of an honest livelihood, through their hinder skin, 
in somewhat of a rough fashion. But this foolish woman, in addition 
to the plentiful flogging, shut them up in horrid cellars, starved 
them, beat them with sticks and other hard substances over the 
head, and allowed the wounds on their heads and bodies to grow 
and putrify. For this she was properly hung and her family disgraced, 
but this must not be confounded with just discipline. This cruelty 
and ferocity have nothing in common with the honest satisfaction 
with which the Master, the Schoolmaster, and even the Parent wields 
the Rod or the Whip over the posteriors of the wrong-doer, and 
imprints his moral lessons in fair red characters on the person of the 
offender. Providence has evidently implanted this instinct in the 
human breast to counteract the excessive fondness of parental affection, 
and the torpid carelessness which would leave the young people under 
our care to grow up in idleness, ignorance and vice. The Rod has 
the " quality " applied elsewhere by our immortal bard. 

'It blesses him that gives and him that takes." 
I now come to my second Proposition, viz., that the sole event of 
the death of Mary Clifford should not in any degree limit the Quan- 
tum of castigation to he administered in our establishments and in 
our homes. The Londoners are not deprived of their diversion of 
seeing a villain whipped through their streets, because a fellow 
occasionally catches a jail fever and dies before his scabs are healed, etc. 

Both these cruel women, observes Pisanus Fraxi, were 
aided, it is true, by men, and more directly so in the 
former than in the latter instance. But the crime of the 
woman in both cases, and more particularly in that of the 
Deferts, is much more heinous, and the cruelty far greater 

%i)c (lovvcction of S&ii)c^* 13B 

than that of the man. One can understand a man, should the 
brutality of his nature be such as to admit of his attempt- 
ing the chastity of his own child, seeking to avenge the 
affront and disappointment of a repulse by infliction of 
excessive punishment, but it surpasses the flight of the 
most savage and misanthropic imagination to conceive a 
mother, the natural protector of her own daughter, and that 
in the atrocious and unnatural manner already described.' 
The De Goncourt brothers, those charming French 
stylists, seem to imagine that English people are maniacs 
for whipping — others. 

We quote from their Journal: 

Monday, 7 April, — I have this day visited a maniac, a 
monster, one of those who are on the border of the abyss. 
This case has enabled me, as it were, by a veil rent in 
twain, to perceive the abominable depth to which the 
English aristocracy has fallen, and the frightful aspect 
of these scions of noble blood surfeited with gold, who 
combine ferocity with love, and whose debauchery can 
find satisfaction only in the sufferings of woman. 

At a ball at the Grand Opera, a young English gentle- 
man was introduced to Saint-Victor, to whom he said 
right at the outset, in commencing conversation, " that he 
did not find it so easy to amuse one's self in Paris, that 
there were vastly better opportunities elsewhere, that 
there was in London, a very respectable house, kept by 
a Mrs. Jenkins, where there were young girls of about 
thirteen years of age, to whom one began to teach their 
letters, but afterwards flogged them, the little ones. Oh! 
not severely, but the big ones right away. One could 
also stick pins into them, not very long ones, as long as 
this only, and he showed us the point of his finger; yes. 

134 ^ia^cUaiion in ^vame* 

until they brought blood ! . . . " This young Englishman 
added placidly and quietly, " I have no naturally cruel 
tastes, and I stop at men and animals . . . Some time ago 
I hired a window for a heavy sum to see a murderess 
hanged; we had with us some women to have fun toith 
them afterwards — his expressions were always very decent 
— at the moment when she was about to be executed, we 
had requested the hangman to lift up her petticoats just 
a little at the critical moment ! . . . When unfortunately, 
at the last moment, she was pardoned by the Queer ! " 

To-day therefore, M. Saint- Victor introduced me to 
this terribly strange character. He was a young man of 
about thirty years of age, bald, his cheeks bluff like the 
sides of an orange, clear blue and sharp eyes, his skin 
extremely delicate, showing distinctly the subcutaneous 
veins, and his head— most peculiar— that of one of those 
emaciated and ecstatic young priests who may be seen in 
ancient pictures to surround saintly bishops. He was an 
elegant young gentleman, rather stiff in the arms, and in 
the movements of his body, at the same, time abrupt and 
febrile, denoting the incipient symptoms of a spinal disease. 
With that, extremely well bred, exquisitely polite and of 
most particularly gentle manner. 

He opened a large and high cabinet, in which was a 
curious collection of erotic books, admirably bound, and 
showing to us a Meibomius, on the TJtility of Flagellation 
in the Pleasures of Love and of Marriage, put together by 
the first binders in Paris, with external artistic iron-work 
ornaments, representing the phallus, a death's head, and 
instruments of torture, of which he produced the drawings ; * 

* This book, on the death of Mr. Hankey, the amateur in question, 
later came under the Auctioneer's hammer at the H6tel Drouot. 

%f)e ^ovucHon of ^iuel* 135 

he said to us with regard to these iron-work ornaments : 
" No ! At first, the artist refused to execute them . . . then 
I lent him some of my books . . . Now he makes his 
wife very unhappy ... he runs after little girls . . . but I 
got the binding I wanted." Then showing us a book all 
prepared for the binder he said : " For this volume I 
await a skin, the skin of a young girl . . . which one of 
my friends has procured me... It is now being tanned. ., 
Six months is necessary to tan it . . . Do you wish to see, 
this skin?... but that is immaterial... it was necessary 
that the skin should be taken off from a living young 
girl. Fortunately, I had a friend, Dr. B . . . who explores 
the interior of Africa, as you know... well, in the mas- 
sacres which there periodically occur ... he has promised 
to take for me the skin of a still living negress." 

And as he still abstractedly contemplates his finger-nails 
before him, he continues to speak, and his words enter 
into your soul like the painful thrust of a gimlet." * 

* * 


It used to be the custom in England to flog loose 
women. We take the following curious account from the 

" From thence my Friend conducted me to Bridewell, 
being Court-Day, to give me the Diversion, of seeing the 
Letchery of some Town Ladies cool'd by a Cat-of-Nine- 
tailes : . . . We then turn'd into the Gate of a Stately 
Edifice, which my Friend told me was Bridewell, at my 
first entrance, it seem'd to me rather a Princes Palace, 
than a House of Correction ; till gazing round me, I saw 

* Journal des Goncourt, 2nd vol. 1862 — 1865, 1887. 

136 ^laQcUation in ^vancc* 

in a large Room a parcel of Ill-looking Mortals Stripp'd 
to their Shirts like Haymakers, Pounding a Pernicious 
Weed, which I had thought, from their Unlucky Aspects, 
seem'd to threaten their Destruction . . . From thence we 
turn'd into another Court, the Buildings, being like the 
former. Magnificently Noble ; where straight before us was 
another Grate, which prov'd the Women's Appartment : 
We foUow'd our Noses and walk'd up to take a view of 
these Ladies, who we found were shut up as close as 
Nuns ; but like so many Slaves, were under the" Care and 
Direction of an Over-seer, who walk'd about with a very 
flexible Weapon of Of&ce, to Correct such Hempen Jour- 
ney-Women who were unhappily troubled with the Spirit 
of Idleness. These smelt as frowzily as so many Goats 
in a Welsh Gentleman's Stable, or rather a Litter of Piss- 
tail Children under the Care of a Parish Nurse; and 
look'd with as much Modesty as so many Newgate Saints 
Canoniz'd at the Old-Baily ; being all as Chearful over 
their Shameful Drudgery, notwithstanding their Miserable 
Circumstances, as so many Jolly Crispins in a Garret o'er 
St. Hugh's Bones, or Vulcans in a Cellar o'er the merry 
Clinks of the Sledge and Anvil. Some seem'd so very 
Young, that I thought it very strange they should know 
Sin enough at those Years to bring them so early into a 
State of Misery... Being now both tired with, and 
amazed at, the Confidence and Loose Behaviour of these 
Degenerate Wretches, who had neither Sense of Grace, 
Knowledge of Virtue, Fear of Shame, or Dread of Misery, 
my Friend Reconducted me back into the first Quadrangle, 
and led me up a pair of Stairs into a Spacious Chamber, 
where the Court was sitting in great Grandeur and Order. 
A Grave Gentleman, whose Awful Looks bespoke him some 

%f)e ^ovvection of SSiUeiS* 137 

Honourable Citizen, was mounted in the Judgement Seat, 
Arm'd with a Hammer, like a Change-Broker at Loyds- 
Coffee- House, when selling Goods by Inch of Candle; and 
a Woman under the Lash in the next Room; where 
Folding Doors were open'd, that the whole Court might 
see the Punishment Inflicted; at last down went the 
Hammer, and the Scourging Ceas'd; that I protest, till I 
was undeceiv'd, I thought the Offenders had been Popish 
Penitents, who by the Delusion of their Priests, were 
drawn thither to buy Lashes by Auction. The Honourable 
Court, I observ'd, were chiefly Attended by Fellows in 
Blew-Coats, and Women in Blew-Aprons. Another Ac- 
cusation being then deliver'd by a Flat-Cap against a poor 
Wench, who having no Friend to speak in her Behalf, 
Proclamation was made, viz., JU you who are willing E — th. 
I— II, should have present Punishment, Pray hold up your 
Hands: Which was done accordingly: And then she was 
order'd the Civility of the House, and was forc'd to shew 
her tender Back, and tempting Bubbles, to the Grave 
Sages of the August Assembly, who were moved by her 
Modest Mein, together with the Whiteness of her Skin, to 
give her but a Gentle Correction.* 


The following was communicated by an eye-witness. 

° Not more than a dozen years since, an amusing scene 
of conjugal correction took place in the outskirts of Paris. 
A well-known and talented author was often in the habit 
of hospitably entertaining his numerous friends: men of 
letters, artists and journalists, at his pretty villa an hour's 
journey distant from the capital. Some years previously 

* O'be Xon&on Spg- XonSon, 1704 (pp. 129, 136, 139, 140). 

138 ^ia^cliation in ^vance, 

he had married a pretty girl much younger than himself, 
and not very intellectually gifted. She was however 
greatly attached to her husband, notwithstanding the 
disparity of age, but was fearfully jealous, and took it- 
into her head that the friends who came to see him, 
most of them men of literary eminence, were leading 
him astray, and causing him sometimes to remain out late 
when he went to Paris. So she got into the unfortunate 
habit, whenever they came to dine with him in the country, 
of casting all sorts of reproaches, which degenerated into 
positive abuse. 

One day, when she had forgotten herself more than 
usual by grossly insulting an old and esteemed friend of 
her husband's family, heaping contumely upon him, before 
several other persons, her husband, a big powerful man, 
losing all patience, suddenly seized hold of her, and before 
she had time to resist, laid her across his knee, lifted 
up her petticoats and, before his astonished guests, then 
and there gave her that sort of hearty smacking, usually 
administered to a naughty child. He then released her, 
and the poor little woman rushed from the room, over- 
whelmed with shame and confusion. 

The lesson was a severe one, but it was quite effectual. 
Prom that day my lady was a loving and contented little 
wife, no longer jealous of her husband, nor did she ever again 
vent her ill-humour before his friends or at their expense. 


With some ladies arguments suffice, with others, caresses, 
but those who refuse to learn wisdom any way require 
sharp, severe, and decisive smacking. 

%i)c (^ovtcciion of mi\)c§. 139 


Wife-whipping sometimes gives rise to serious results, 
if the beatings are accompanied with brutality. 

In a south German town, not very many years ago,, 
there lived a doctor who administered the Rod to his 
pretty wife on the slightest occasion. He was very 
jealous, and thought proper to practise flagellation 
on the body of his wife so often, that she at last com- 
plained to her friends, and on their advice obtained a 

We have heard of a case in the same country, where 
the husband did not give the correction with his own 
hand, but handed the matter over to the ecclesiastical 
authorities, who inflicted it quite as efficiently. This lady 
was of great beauty, and had many admirers. In conse- 
quence of instructions received from the husband, she was 
one night dragged out of bed, carried out of the house, 
put into a close carriage, and brought to an unknown 
place. There she was examined, and commanded to give 
up the names of her adorers, but as she persisted in 
refusing to do so, she received a violent whipping with 
a rod, and after some days was taken back to her husband, 
when her admirers collected for her a valuable present, 
as a reward for her fidelity and silence. In a some- 
what milder way, but likewise with the Rod (although 
we are not aware that the husbands sanctioned or ordered 
the proceeding), did a canon at Limburg punish the 
transgressions of the pretty married women who came to 
him to make confession. They naturally could make no 
resistance, and had to endui-e their punishment with 

UO ^laQcUation in ^rmtce. 


Woman is ° by nature coy and hard to please " . While 
some of this strange sex take correction badly, others fall 
ill, if refused a beating. The following instance seems to 
illustrate the remarks made at the opening of the present 
article. Sometimes a whole series of whippings may be 
necessary to satisfy the ladies' taste, but in this case one 
application seems to have completely satisfied the craving 
for birch. A lady of good family was married to a young 
magistrate of great wealth and amiability, who was most 
studiously attentive to her. Her slightest desires were 
immediately satisfied; absolute mistress in the house, 
nothing was refused to her, and her husband made himself 
her submissive slave. In spite of all the happiness of this 
beautiful honeymoon, however, the young wife suddenly 
became melancholy and peevish; whereon the poor hus- 
band redoubled his attentions and caresses, and even 
supplicated her upon his knees to tell him what ailed her. 
She at last yielded to his entreaties so far as to reply 
that she had a longing so violent, ungovernable, and 
extraordinary, that she preferred to die rather than make 
it known. Of course, this had only the effect of heighten- 
ing his eagerness to hear what this desire was, and if 
possible to gratify it, and after several more days of 
prayers and earnest beseechings, she owned that she wished 
to be beaten ! — not with strokes from the fist or feet, 
but with a rod to be vigorously thrashed, sharp and quick, 
in a manner that would thoroughly satisfy this ridiculous 
longing. The husband regarded her in amazement be- 
lieving she had lost her reason: so that when she would 
not; do as he might, be content, he had her put to bed, 

%ffe don'^cttott of ^ii)c$* 141 

and treated as for what might be a serious malady. A 
doctor was consulted, who relieved, yet still more sur- 
prised, the troubled husband, by at once falling in with 
the patient's desire, and prescribing the birch as the sole 
remedy of this vagary, only he recommended that she 
should be flogged on that part of her person least likely 
to be attended with any danger. The husband, as it were 
abandoning himself to his fate, then determined to execute 
the doctor's prescription, and, profiting one day by a turn 
of ill-humour on the part of his wife, seized a rod, and 
applied it in right good earnest to the region indicated. 
From that moment the young wife was completely satisfied 
and cured. 


The following delightful account of a mediseval wife- 
beating will occur to all students of Les Cent Nouvelles 
Nouvelles : 

Not a great while ago there lived a merchant at Tours, 
who, in order to treat his vicar and other worthy friends, 
bought a big and fine lamprey, and sent it to his house, 
specially charging his wife to cook it properly, as she 
knew well how to do : and manage, said he, " that the 
dinner be ready at noon, for I shall then bring the vicar 
and some other guests" (whom he named to her)— 'All 
shall be ready,' said she, "bring whoever you like." She 
cooked a big dish of fine fish ; but as for the lamprey, she 
destined it for the Franciscan monastery, for her bosom- 
friend, saying: "Ah! brother Bernard, why are you not 
here ! By my troth, you should not go away until you had 
tasted of the lamprey, or, if it better suited you, you 
should take it to your chamber, and I would not fail to 

142 flagellation in f5^t*an«» 

come and keep you company." It was with much regret 
that the good woman set about preparing the lamprey for 
her husband, while she reflected how she could contrive to 
let her monk have it. She thought and considered so long 
until she concluded to charge an old woman, who knew 
her secret, to take it to him, which she did, informing 
him that at night she would come to sup and to sleep 
with him. When master Franciscan friar saw this splendid 
lamprey and was advised of the coming of the dame, it 
may be imagined how joyful and pleased he was ; and he 
told the old woman that if he could manage to procure 
some good wine, the lamprey should not be defrauded of 
its due, when it came to be eaten. The old woman 
returned to her mistress and gave her an account of 
her mission. At about the hour of noon, home comes 
our merchant with the vicar and several other jolly com- 
panions, to devour the lamprey, which was now well out 
of their reach. When they had come into the merchant's 
house, he led them straightway to the kitchen, to see this 
fine lamprey, to which they were going to do justice ; and 
called his wife, saying to her: "Show us our lamprey, 
that our friends may know if I have made a good bargain 
of it." — "What lamprey?" says she. 'The lamprey that 
I sent you for our dinner, with the other fish." " I have 
seen no lamprey," she said, ' I think you must be dreaming. 
Here is a carp, two pikes and I know not what other 
fish; but I have seen no lamprey to-day." — "What!" said 
he, " do you think that I am drunk? " — " I' faith, yes," then 
said the vicar and the others ; " you do not seem otherwise 
to-day! You are rather too stingy at present to buy a 
lamprey." — " By God," says the wife, "he is making fun 
of ygu, for surely I have seen no lamprey this year." 

%i^e ^ovuciim of SSibe^* 143 

And the good husband, in a rage, cried out: "You lie, 
you bawd, you have eaten it or hidden it away somewhere. 
I promise that never will a, lamprey have cost you so 
dear. " Then, turning to the vicar and to his other guests, 
he swore by death and a hundred oaths, that he had sent 
a lamprey to his wife, which had cost him a franc. And 
they, to still further torment and enrage him, made 
pretence not to believe him, and used words, as if they 
were vexed, saying: "We were invited to dinner by 
so-and-so, and we have left every thing to come here, 
thinking to eat a lamprey, but as we see, it is not likely 
to disagree with us." The host, who was wild with rage, 
took up a stick and advanced towards his wife to lay it 
well about her, and would surely have done so had 
not the others held him back and forced him to go 
with them outride, where they took the trouble to calm 
him down as well as they could, seeing him so much 
put out. Then, as the lamprey failed them, the vicar 
spread the table, and they made the best meal they 
could. The good dame of the lamprey sent for one of 
her neighbours, a widow, but a fine woman and plump, 
and got her to dine with her. And when she saw her 
opportunity, she said: "My good neighbour, it would be 
good of you to do me a singular pleasure; and if you 
will do it for me, you shall be so well recompensed, that 
you are sure to be well pleased " — " And what does it please 
you that I do? " said the other. — ' I will tell you," said she, 
' my husband is so ardent at his work, that it is a great 
marvel; and, in fact, last night he rumpled me so much 
about, that, by my faith ! I can hardly bear to wait 
upon him again to-night. Therefore I beg of you to take 
my place, and if I can ever do anything for you, you 

144 lylrto^Wation in ^vance, 

shall find me ready body and soul. " The good neighbour 
in order to do her pleasure and service, was well pleased 
to take her place, for which she was much and greatly 
thanked by the other. Now, you must know that our 
merchant of the lamprey, when he had finished his dinner, 
made a very big and large provision of good birch rods, 
which he carried secretly home, and hid at the foot of 
the bed, thinking to serve his wife that night in proper 
fashion with them. He did not do this so secretly, but 
that she guessed very well of it, and knowing by exper- 
ience how cruel he was, pretended to see nothing. Her 
husband did not sup at home, but remained out so late, 
that when he came home he right well expected to find 
her in bed, naked. But his enterprise failed, for when 
the evening came and it was late, she made her neighbour 
undress and take her place in the bed, charging her 
expressly not to say a word to her husband when he 
came, but to make pretence to be mute and malade. 
And moreover, she extinguished the fire on the hearth, 
in the kitchen and also in the chamber. That done, she 
recommended to her friend, that as soon as her husband 
should get up in the morning, she should go away home. 
So did the other promise to do. The neighbour being 
now lodged and in bed, our valiant dame wended her 
way to the Franciscan convent, to eat of the lamprey, 
and to gain her absolution as it was pretty well her custom . 
While she was there making merry, we have to say 
that the merchant after his supper came back to his 
house, full of anger and grumbling about the lamprey. 
And in order to execute what he had decided in his mind, 
he took hold of the birches, keeping them in his hand, 
and looking everywhere for a candle, which he could 

%f)e ^0ttuH0n of S»ik»e§* 145 

not find, not even on the chimney. When he saw that, 
he went to bed without saying a word, and slept until 
daylight, when he got up and dressed, and taking up 
his birchen rods thrashed the substitute of his wife so 
severely, that he was nigh to knock her to pieces, remind- 
ing her of the lamprey, and put her into such a state, 
that she was bleeding all over : the sheets of the bed 
even were everywhere stained with blood, as if a bullock 
had been slaughtered there; but the poor martyr dared 
not utter a word, nor show her face. At last the birches 
were used, and he got tired; he then went out. And 
the poor woman, who had expected to be gratified with 
amorous frolic and gracious pastime, went away soon 
after to her own house, complaining of her pain and of 
her martyrdom, not without threatening and well cursing 
her neighbour. While her husband was away, the good 
woman came home from the friar's convent, and in her 
room she found the birchen rods spread about, the bed 
tumbled and the sheets all stained with blood. She at 
once saw what had happened to her neighbour's body, 
as she had right well expected; and without stopping, 
or a moment's delay, she made the bed again, put on 
clean fresh sheets, and swept the room. After that, she 
went to see her neighbour, whom she found in a pitiful 
state, and where it cannot be said that she did not find 
some one to talk to her. As soon as she could she re- 
turned home again, and, undressing completely, got into 
the nice bed she had just so well prepared, and slept very 
well until her husband came back from the town, as it 
were changed from his anger, because he had been revenged, 
and approached his wife whom he found in bed pretending 
to sleep. " How now, my dame ? " said he : " is it not time 


146 ^laQeiiation in Stance* 

to get up ? " — " Oh, my ! she said, is it day-light? Upon my 
oath ! I never heard you get up. I was still in a dream 
which lasted ever so long." — " I think," said he, " you must 
have dreamt of the lamprey, was it not so? There would 
be nothing marvellous about it, for I well reminded you 
of it this morning." — "By heaven," said she, "I remember 
neither you nor your lamprey. " — ° What, " he said, ' have you 
so soon forgotten it ? " — " Forgotten ? " said she ; "I never pay 
much attention to dreams." — 'And besides the dream," he 
says, "how about the handful of birch-rods I4aid about 
you not two hours ago? I know right well that it must 
be largely avouched on the sheets of our bed." — "By my 
troth, good friend, " she replied, " I know not what you have 
done or dreamt, but, as for me, I very well remember, 
that this morning early, you played me with right good 
appetite the game of love; I knew of nought else! You 
may perhaps have dreamed of having given me something 
else, as you did yesterday of having sent me the lam- 
prey?" — "That would be indeed a strange thing," he said. 
"Let us have a look, that I may see you." She then 
undid and turned down the bedclothes, showing herself 
stark naked, without the least bruise or wound upon her. 
He could also see the fine white sheets without a stain 
upon them. He was more amazed than I can tell you, 
and began to ponder and to reflect profoundly. He thus 
remained for some time. But at last, after a good delay, 
he said : ° On my oath, my dear, I thought I had this 
morning, severely birched you even to blood, but I now 
see that it was no such thing." — " Holy Mother! " said she, 
" drive away from your mind such ideas of beating, for 
never yet did you touch me: you can now well see and 
perceive it. Take into account, that you have dreamt it, 

as you did yesterday about the lamprey."— 'I know now," 
said he, " that you have spoken the truth ; therefore I pray 
you to excuse me, and I quite acknowledge that I was 
wrong yesterday to abuse you before the strangers I had 
brought home with me." — 'You are easily pardoned," she 
replied, " but nevertheless, do not in future be so thought- 
less nor so hasty in your affairs, as you are in the habit 
of being." — "Nor will I be, my dear," he replied. 

Thus was it, as you have heard, that the merchant was 
deceived by his wife, who believed that he had bought 
the lamprey of which he made price and account, as has 
been written and related. 



Wives were not always so successful in thus getting 
whipped by proxy. There formerly lived a gay French 
lady who kept most unreasonable hours; her very head 
ran upon nothing but balls and masquerades, and she 
never concerned herself about her husband's ill-concealed 
chagrin, so that in time he became quite discontented 
with her proceedings, and determined to be very explicit. 
One day therefore he said to her, "My dear, are the 
days not suiBciently long, but the nights too must be 
devoted to your pleasure? I must insist that you return 
home at a certain hour; if you do not mind this injunc- 
tion, I have a most infallible method to bring you to 
reason ; and of this matter I will be judge as well as 
accuser." The fair lady, conscious that her pleasures were 
founded on innocence, paid no regard to his remonstrances, 
and returned home that evening at her usual late hour, 

148 ^Idgdlatiott in Stance. 

little dreaming of the infallible method of cure which her 
husband had in store. He had three days before prepared 
a most rare collection of green birch twigs; and that they 
might tickle madam to some purpose, he had soaked them 
well in brine. Waiting for the appearance of his lady, 
as soon as she entered the apartment he ran and seized 
her in his arms, the lady thinking he did so only by way 
of frolic ; but a shower of blows from the birch, wielded 
by the arm of her indignant husband, soon convinced her 
of her mistake. In vain she screamed and cried for help, 
and all in vain resisted his superior strength, for he 
continued flagellating her until she was in a thoroughly 
penitent state of mind. The ne^t day she made grievous 
complaints to her female friends, who only laughed at 
the serio-comic adventure. At last, being apprehensive of 
another whipping, and not desirous of again tasting her 
husband's infallible cure, she thought it prudent to be 
silent and to reform her mode of life. 


Although there is possibly no cure more efficacious for 
nervous excitableness and green-sickness common to young 
girls, some of these latter kick against being beaten, solely 
through false ideas of their own importance. Madam Roland 
protested fiercely against the indignity of a whipping, and 
communicates in her memoirs one or two remarkable per- 
sonal anecdotes. Her father, being a choleric man, used 
to beat her often when a girl; she more than once bit 
the thigh across which she was laid for the purpose of 
undergoing a flagellation. Refusing one day to take some 

%i)c ^ovvcciton of ^i\fc$^ 149 

medicine, she was sentenced to be whipped. Being again 
asked to take it, and refusing, she was whipped a second 
time with still greater severity. Another day, when a 
similar punishment was about to be inflicted, she became 
fierce in her opposition, and thereby excited her father; 
but seeing her mother in tears, she yielded, and received 
her chastisement for that time with humility. But she 
was determined to carry her point -to die rather than 
give in -and so she was never whipped again. 


In the kingdom of the Czar, beating commences on the 
threshhold of the conjugal relations, and continues long 
after the honey-moon is forgotten. How happy must be 
the husband thus able to assert his authority ! How duti- 
ful the bride taught thus early to walk in the way of 
wifely obedience! We quote:— The ritual strokes of the 
whip that the bride receives from her future husband, a 
custom existing among all the Slav nations and among 
other Indo-European peoples,* are to-day as well explained 
by the very words spoken by the bridegroom as he ad- 
ministers the stripes, as by the songs of his comrades, 
and even by the commentaries of learned men, as signi- 

* See Soumtzov, Sur les usages nupt., p. 94., Krauss, Sitte und 
Branch der Sildslavon, p. 385; Boiev. K. Bratchnomou pravoii Bolgar 
{Sur les us. Jurid. Bulg ] p. 40; Liebrecht, Volkskunde,^^. 376 — 377; 
Laumier, Ce.rem. nupf., p. 91; Wood, The Wedding-day, II, pp. 48, 
118; in the Government of Kazan, among the Tohereraiss, the bride 
does not at once step into the nuptial coach, she merely places one 
foot on it and then draws back. This repeated three times, until the 
leader of the cortfege gives her three stripes with his whip (Smirnoff, 
Les Tcheremisses, pp. 130 — 131). 

150 ^laQcUation in Stance* 

fying the subjection . of the wife to her husband. M 
Soumtzov, it appears, gives a very plausible explanation 
of their primitive meaning. „ He finds in them an analogy 
with the ritual strokes of the Luperci during the Lupercalia 
among the ancient Romans, and with the melliferous whips 
of Asvines, symbolising the dew of dawn and that of eve, 
which produced the fertility of the fields. * 

This point of view is confirmed by the customs preserved 
in many localities when the bridegroom contents himself 
with fanning his bride from all sides with a long whip, * 
or else lashes the coach with it as he goes round the same. * 
The above indications may also be recognized in the 
custom preserved in White Russia to rouse up the young 
married couple from their nuptial couch by giving them 
blows of a whip, as in fact the whip or the stick figure 
in most of the nuptial ceremonies." 


The despotic power once vested in Russian land-proprietors 
is happily destroyed. The serf-rights have been abolished. 
Practically perhaps, the old conditions to a large extent, 
continue to live on. Let us hope, however, that cases like 
the following are rare. 

"A beautiful serf-girl was betrothed to one in her 
own station. Her lord, however, wished the young woman 
to become his mistress, and because she refused this 
degradation in the most decided manner, he resolved to 
have her flogged: a charge of some kind was therefore 
trumped up against her, and on this false charge she was 

* Soumtzov. loc. cit. pp. 94, 95. 

sent for to the prison, and the door of the room locked. 
Being then stripped quite naked, she was laid down on a 
bench, having two holes at one end, through which her 
arms were put: then a couple of men held her by the 
head and feet, while another lashed her until she was 
covered with blood, and so severely that she did not recover 
from the effects of the whippings for three months. 

The " Englishwoman in Russia" mentions that a lady 
of the highest rank, having used a lady's privilege, at a 
masked ball, of chattering in the ear of the Emperor, let 
fall some rather indiscreet suggestion. Followed home by 
a spy, she was summoned the next day to Count Orloff's 
ofSce ; where, upon arriving, she was pointed to a chair, 
and quietly interrogated. Presently she was gently let 
down to a lower chamber, where she was vigorously^ 
birched, just as if she had been a little child, by some 
unseen person. The "Englishwoman" vouches for the 
correctness of this anecdote. She knew the lady, and had 
the story from an intimate friend of the family. 


Wild stories sometimes get afloat regarding the high- 
handed proceedings of Russian officialism. The following 
terribly undignified treatment of a lady in a police office 
is, " thank God !" a custom not yet introduced, as far as we 
know, at Bow Street. A lady of rank, supposed to have 
committed some treasonable action, was summoned to the 
bureau of the secret police: having arrived, and the door 
being shut, she was politely requested to walk forward, 
but as she did so a trap-door suddenly gave way under 

152 flagellation in Stance, 

her, and she slipped down till she was supported only by 
her clothes, which had gathered up all around her arms ; 
in this helpless condition she hung through the ceiling of 
a room below, where an executioner had been previously 
stationed to ply the whip upon her unprotected body. 

It may perhaps stop a woman's babbling to handle her 
in this way, but we venture to think that it would be 
far more becoming and decorous to call upon the husband, 
or even a brother or cousin, to execute such work, rather 
than to delegate it to a strange man concealed beneath 
the flooring. A member of Parliament, we think, who 
advocated such measures for Englishwomen, would soon 
be asked to resign. 


It is said that there is little distance between tears and 
laughter. Few people, however, go direct from the ball- 
room to the whipping-stool ; few are the gentlemen ungentle- 
manly enough to listen to a lovely woman's wit flung 
out thoughtlessly in the whirl of the waltz, and imme- 
diately use it as a reason to have them shamelessly beaten. 
Yet many noble ladies have been flogged in Russia under 
such circumstances. Indeed, anecdotes of such flagellations 
could be multiplied to almost any extent. It was stated 
a few years ago in a German newspaper that three of the 
most beautiful women of St. Petersburg were driven direct 
from one of the Imperial balls in their own carriages, in 
all their finery of satin and lace, to the police station, 
and after being mounted on a man's shoulders, with their 
dresses tucked up, were smartly whipped with a birch 
rod. No explanation was given; but they were dismissed 
with the significant caution to hold their tongues in future. 

%^c (^0tvcctx0n of ^itfe§. 153 

At another Imperial party, some young ladies, who had 
been chatting too freely, were politely escorted by a 
mattre d^hdtel to a distant apartment, where, being made 
to kneel over an ottoman, they were severely smacked by 
a female house-keeper with their satin slippers, and then 
sent home ! 


Most of the cases of flagellation recited in the foregoing 
pages have Europe for their scene of action. It must not, 
however, be therefore assumed that the East is wanting 
in amateurs of this sport. The Hebrew scriptures are 
redolent, on the contrary, with the smell of the birch twig, 
and sun-tanned lips have, in Oriental tongues, echoed the 
refrain of the Jesuit priest : 

' Pour la fesse 

Je professe 
Un goUt assez saugrenu; 


Je le oonfesse, 
Ton objet m'est trop counu!' 

It is not our intention here to attempt any learned dis- 
quisition on the origin of the bastonnade, or the oriental 
use of the handy slipper. We prefer with Macaulay, the 
concrete to the abstract, and think that the following 
amusing story from the Thousand Nights and a Night * 
will, better than any pedantic show of erudition, illustrate 
the Eastern's idea of the importance of wifely correction. 

'There was once a merchant who owned much money 

Burton's original (BENAEES)) edition, — of course. 

154 flagellation in Stance* 

and many men, and who was rich in cattle and camels, 
he had also a wife and family and he dwelt in the country, 
being experienced in husbandry and devoted to agriculture. 
Now Allah Most High had endowed him with understand- 
ing the tongues of beasts and birds of every kind, but 
under pain of death if he divulged the gift to any. So 
he kept it secret for very fear. He had in his cow-house 
a Bull and an Ass each tethered in his own stall one 
hard by the other. As the merchant was sitting near 
hand one day with his servants and his chtHren were 
playing about him, he heard the Bull say to the Ass, 
" Hail and health to thee Father of Waking ! * for that 
thou enjoyest rest and good ministering, all under thee is 
clean-swept and fresh-sprinkled ; men wait upon thee and 
feed thee, and thy provaunt is sifted barley and thy drink 
pure spring-water, while I (unhappy creature !) am led 
forth in the middle of the night, when they set on my 
neck the plough and a something called Yoke ; and I tire 
at cleaving the earth from dawn of day till set of sun. 
I am forced to do more than I can and to bear all manner 
of ill-treatment from night to night ; after which they take 
me back with my sides torn, my neck flayed, my legs 
aching and mine eyelids sored with tears. Then they 
shut me up in the byre and throw me beans and crushed 
straw, t mixed with dirt and chaff ; and I lie in dung 

* Arab. ' Abii Yakzan ° = the Wakener; because the ass brays 
at dawn. 

f Arab. " Tibn " straw crushed under the sledge: the hay of Egypt, 
Arabia, Syria, etc. The Old country custom is to pull up the corn by 
handfuls from the roots, leaving the land perfectly bare: hence the 
" plucking up " of Hebrew Holy Writ. The object is to preserve 
every atom of ' Tibn." 

%i)c ^ovvecixon of 2Sit»e)§* 155 

and filth and foul stinks through the livelong night. But 
thou art ever in a place swept and sprinkled and cleansed, 
and thou art always lying at ease, save when it happens 
(and seldom enough !) that the master hath some business, 
when he mounts thee and rides thee to town and returns 
with thee forthright. So it happens that I am toiling and 
distrest while thou takest thine ease and thy rest; thou 
sleepest while I am sleepless; I hunger still while thou 
eatest thy fill, and I win contempt while thou winnest 
good will." When the Bull ceased speaking, the Ass 
turned towards him and said, " Broad-o'-Brow, * thou 
lost one! he lied not who dubbed thee Bull-head, for 
thou, father of a Bull, hast neither forethought nor 
coutrivance ; thou art the simplest of simpletons, f and 
thou knowest naught of good advisers. Hast thou not 
heard the saying of the wise: 

For others these hardships and labours I bear, 
And theirs is the pleasure and mine is the care; 
As the bleacher who blacketh his brow in the sun 
To whiten the raiment which other men wear. § 

But thou, fool, art full of zeal and thou toilest and 
moilest before the master; and thou tearest and wearest 
and slayest thyself for the comfort of another. Hast thou 
never heard the saying, that saith ' None to guide and from 
the way go wide ? " Thou wendest forth at the call to 
dawn-prayer and thou returnest not till sundown; and 

* Arab. " Ta Aftah : " Al-Aftah is an epithet of the bull, also of 
the chameleon. 

f Arab. " Balid," a favourite Egyptianism often pleasantly con- 
founded with ' Wali ° (a Santon) ; hence the latter comes to mean 
"an innocent," a "ninny." 

§ From the Calc. Edit., Vol. 1, p. 29. 

156 ^lageUation tit ^trattce* 

through the livelong day thou endurest all manner hard- 
ships; to wit, beating and belabouring and bad language. 
Now hearken to me, Sir Bull ! when they tie thee to thy 
stinking manger, thou pawest the ground with thy forehand 
and lashest out with thy hind hoofs and pushest with thy 
horns and bellowest aloud, so they deem thee contented. 
And when they throw thee thy fodder thou fallest on it 
with greed and hastenest to line thy fair fat paunch. But 
if thou accept my advice it will be better for thee and 
thou wilt lead an easier life even than mine. When thou 
goest a-field and they lay the thing called yoke on thy 
neck, lie down and rise not again though haply they 
swinge thee; and, if thou rise, lie down a second timej 
and when they bring thee home and offer thee thy beans, 
fall backwards and only sniff at thy meat and withdraw 
thee and taste it not, and be satisfied with thy crushed 
straw and chaff; and on this wise feign thou art sick, 
and cease not doing thus for a day or two days or even 
three days, so shalt thou have rest from toil and moil. 

When the Bull heard these words he knew the Ass 
to be his friend and thanked him, saying, " Right is thy 
rede;" and prayed that all blessings might requite him, 
and cried, " Father Wakener ! * thou hast made up for 
ray failings." (Now f the merchant, my daughter, 
understood all that passed between them.) Next day the 
driver took the Bull, and settling the plough on his neck, § 
made him work as wont ; but the Bull began to shirk his 
ploughing, according to the advice of the Ass, and the 

* Arab. "Abu Takzan" is hardly equivalent with " Pere I'EveilU." 
t In Arab, the wa(',) is the sign of parenthesis. 
§ In the nearer East the light little plough is carried aiield by 
the bull or ass 

^l^e 6;otTectiou of fBi\)e§. 157 

ploughman drubbed him till he broke the yoke and made 
off; but the man caught him up and leathered him till 
he despaired of his life. Not the less, however, would he 
do nothing but stand still and drop down till the evening. 
Then the herd led him home and stabled him in his stall : 
but he drew back from his manger and neither stamped 
nor I'amped nor butted nor bellowed as he was wont to 
do ; whereat the man wondered. He brought him the 
beans and husks, but he sniffed at them and left them and 
lay down as far from them as he could and passed the 
whole night fasting. The peasant came next morning; 
and, seeing the manger full of beans, the crushed-straw 
untasted and the ox lying on his back in sorriest plight, with 
outstretched and swollen belly, he was concerned for him, and 
said to himself, "By Allah, he hath assuredly sickened and this 
is the cause why he would not plough yesterday." Then he 
went to the merchant and reported, ' my master, the 
Bull is ailing ; he refused his fodder last night ; nay more, 
he hath not tasted a scrap of it this morning." Now the 
merchant- farmer understood what all this meant, because 
he had overheard the talk between the Bull and the Ass, 
so quoth he, " Take that rascal donkey, and set the yoke 
on his neck, and bind him to the plough and make him 
do Bull's work." Thereupon the ploughman took the 
Ass, and worked him through the livelong day at the 
Bull's task; and, when he failed for weakness, he made 
him eat stick still his ribs were sore and his sides were 
sunken and his neck was flayed by the yoke ; and when 
he came home in the evening he could hardly drag his 
limbs along, either forehand or hind-legs. But as for the 
Bull, he had passed the day lying at full length and had 
eaten his fodder with an excellent appetite, and he ceased 

158 flagellation in ^vdncc* 

not calling down blessings on the Ass for his good advice ; 
unknowing what had come to him on his account. So 
when night set in and the Ass returned to the byre the 
Bull rose up before him in honour, and said, " May good 
tidings gladden thy heart, Father Wakener! through 
thee I have rested all this day and I have eaten my meat 
in peace and quiet." But the Ass returned no reply, for 
wrath and heart-burning fatigue and the beating he had 
gotten ; and he repented with the most grievous of repen- 
tance; and quoth he to himself: "This cometh of my 
folly in giving good counsel ; as the saw saith, I was in 
joy and gladness, nought save my officiousness brought 
me this sadness. But I will bear in mind my innate 
worth and the nobility of my nature ; for what said the 
poet ? 

Shall tlie beautiful liue of the Basil * fail 
Tho' the beetle's foot o'er the Basil crawl? 
And though spider and fly be its denizens. 
Shall disgrace attach to the royal hall? 
The cowrie, f I ken, shall have currency 
But the pearl's clear drop, shall its value fall? 

And now I . must take thought and put a trick upon 

* Ocydum basilicum, the ' royal herb," so much prized all over the 
East, especially in India, where, under the name of 'Fulsi," it is a 
shrub sacred to the merry god Krishna. I found the verses in a MS. 
copy of the Nights. 

t Arab. ° Sadaf," the Kauri, or cowrie, brought from the Maldive and 
Lakdive Archipelago. The Kamus describes this ' Wada " or Concha 
Veneris as a white shell [whence to " shell out "] which is taken out 
of the sea, the fissure of which is white like that of the date-stone. 
It is hung round the neck to avert the evil eye." The pearl in Arab, 
is "Murwarid," hence evidently 'Margarita" and Margaris (Woman's 

%^e ^ovtection of SSibejg* 159 

him and return him to his place, else I die." Then he 
went aweary to his manger, while the Bull thanked him 
and blessed him. And even so, my daughter, said the 
Wazir, thou wilt die for lack of wits; therefore sit thee 
still and say naught and expose not thy life to such stress ; 
for, by Allah, I offer thee the best advice, which cometh 
of my affection and kindly solicitude for thee. " my 
father," she answered, "needs must I go up to this King 
and be married to him." Quoth he, "Do not this deed ; " 
and quoth the, " Of a truth I will ; " whereat he rejoined, 
" If thou be not silent and bide still, I will do with thee 
even what the merchant did with his wife. " '' And what 
did he ? " asked she. Know then, answered the Wazir, 
that after the return of the Ass the merchant came out 
on the terrace-roof with his wife and family for it was a 
moonlit night and the moon at its full. Now the terrace 
overlooked the cowhouse and presently, as he sat there 
with his children playing about him, the trader heard the 
Ass say the Bull, ' Tell me, father Broad o'Brow, what 
thou purposest to do to-morrow ? " The Bull answered, 
" What but continue to follow thy counsel, Aliboron ? 
Indeed it was as good as good could be and it hath given 
me rest and repose ; nor will I now depart from it one 
tittle: so, when they bring me my meat, I will refuse it 
and blow out my belly and counterfeit crank." The Ass 
shook his head and said, " Beware of so doing, Father 
of a Bull!" The Bull asked, "Why," and the Ass 
answered, "Know that I am about to give thee the best 
of counsel, for verily I heard our owner say to the herd, 
If the Bull rise not from his place to do his work this 
morning and if he retire from his fodder this day, make 
him over to the butcher that he may slaughter him and 

160 ^laQcUation in Stance* 

give his flesh to the poor, and fashion a bit of leather 
from his hide. Now I fear for thee on account of this. 
So take my advice ere a calamity befall thee; and when 
they bring thee thy fodder, eat it and rise up and bellow 
and paw the ground, or our master will assuredly slay 
thee and peace be with thee ? ° Thereupon the Bull arose 
and lowed aloud and thanked the Ass, and said, " To- 
morrow I will readily go forth with them ; " and he at 
once eat up all his meat and even licked the manger. 
(All this took place and the owner was listening to their talk). 
" Next morning the trader and his wife went to the 
Bull's crib and sat down, and the driver came and led 
forth the Bull who, seeing his owner, whisked his tail 
and brake wind, and frisked about so lustily that the 
merchant laughed a loud laugh and kept laughing till he 
fell on his back. His wife asked him " Whereat laughest 
thou with such loud laughter as this ? " ; and he answered 
her, " I laughed at a secret something which I have heard 
and seen but cannot say lest I die my death." She re- 
turned, " Perforce thou must discover it to me, and disclose 
the cause of thy laughing even if thou come by thy 
death ! " But he rejoined, " I cannot reveal what beasts 
and birds say in their lingo for fear I die." Then quoth 
she, "By Allah, thou liest! this is a mere protest: thou 
laughest at none save me, and now thou wouldest hide 
somewhat from me. But by the Lord of the Heavens! 
an thou disclose not the cause I will no longer cohabit 
with thee: I will leave thee at once." And she sat down 
and cried. Whereupon quoth the merchant, " Woe betide 
thee! what means thy weeping? Fear Allah and leave 
these words and query me no more questions." "Needs 
must thou tell me the cause of that laugh," said she, and 

%f)e ^cnccHon of SBltiejS* 161 

he replied, "Thou wottest that when I prayed Allah to 
vouchsafe me understanding of the tongues of beasts and 
birds, I made a vow never to disclose the secret to any 
under pain of dying on the spot." 'No matter," cried 
she, " tell me what secret passed between the Bull and 
the Ass and die this very hour an thou be so minded ; " 
and she ceased not to importune him till he was worn 
out and clean distraught. So at last he said, "Summon 
thy father and thy mother and our kith and kin and 
sundry of our neighbours," which she did; and he sent 
for the Kazi * and his assessors, intending to make his 
will and reveal to her his secret and die the death ; for 
he loved her with love exceeding because she was his 
cousin, the daughter of his father's brother, and the mother 
of his children, and he had lived with her a life of an 
hundred and twenty years. Then, having assembled all 
the family and the folk of his neighbourhood, he said to 
them, " By me there hangeth a strange story, and 'tis 
such that if I discover the secret to any, I am a dead 
man. " Therefore quoth every one of those present to the 
woman, " Allah upon thee, leave this sinful obstinacy and 
recognise the right of this matter, lest haply thy husband 
and the father of thy children die." But she rejoined, 
"I will not turn from it till he tell me, even though he 
come by his death." 

So they ceased to urge her; and the trader rose from 
amongst them and repaired to an outhouse to perform the 
Wuzu-ablution, f and he purposed thereafter to return 

* The older 'Cadi," a judge in religious matters. The Shuhud, or 
Assessors, are officers of the Mahkamah or Kazi's Court. 

t Of which more in a future page. He thus purified himself cere- 
monially before death. 


162 ^iaQcilaiton in ^vanu. 

and to tell them his secret and to die. Now, daughter 
Shahrazad, that merchant had in his outhouses some fifty 
hens under one cock, and whilst making ready to farewell 
his folk he heard one of his many farm-dogs thus address 
in his own tongue the Cock, who was flapping his wings 
and crowing lustily and jumping from one hen's back to 
another and treading all in turn, saying, ° Chanticleer ! 
how mean is thy wit and how shameless is thy conduct! 
Be he disappointed who brought thee up ? * Art thou not 
ashamed of thy doings on such a day as this?" "And 
what, " asked the Rooster, " hath occurred this day ? " , 
when the Dog answered, ' Dost thou not know that our 
master is this day making ready for his death? His wife 
is resolved that he shall disclose the secret taught to him 
by Allah, and the moment he so doeth he shall surely 
die. We dogs are all a-mourning; but thou clappest 
thy wings and clarionest thy loudest and treadest hen after 
hen. Is this an hour for pastime and pleasuring? Art 
thou not ashamed of thyself?" f 

"Then by Allah," quoth the Cock, "is our master a 
lack- wit and a man scanty of sense : if he cannot manage 
matters with a single wife, his life is not worth prolong- 
ing. Now I have some fifty Dame Partlets ; and I please 
this and provoke that and starve one and stuff another; 
and through my good governance they are all well under 
my control. This our master pretendeth to wit and wisdom, 
and he hath but one wife, and yet knoweth not how to 
manage her." 

* This is Christian rather than Moslem : a favourite Maltese curse 
is " Yahrak Kiddisak man rabba-k ! " = burn the Saint who brought 
thee up! 

t A popular Egyptian phrase i the dog and the cock speak like Fellahs, 

%f)c ^otvecHon of S&ii?c^. 163 

Asked the Dog, " What then, Cock, should the master 
do to win clear of his strait?" 

" He should arise forthright, " answered the Cock, " and take 
some twigs from yon mulberry-tree and give her a regular 
back- basting and rib-roasting till she cry :— I repent, my 
lord! I will never ask thee a question as long as I live! 
Then let him beat her once more and soundly, and 
when he shall have done this he shall sleep free from 
care and enjoy life. But this master of ours owns neither 
sense nor judgment." "Now, daughter Shahrazad," con- 
tinued the Wazir. "I will do to thee as did that husband 
to that wife." Said Shahrazad, "And what did he do?" 
He replied, "When the merchant heard the wise words 
spoken by his Cock to his Dog, he arose in haste and 
sought his wife's chamber, after cutting for her some 
mulberry- twigs and hiding them there; and then he called 
to her, " Come into the closet that I may tell thee the 
secret while no one seeth me and then die." She entered 
with him and he locked the door and came down upon 
her with so sound a beating, of back and shoulders, ribs, 
arms and legs, saying the while, "Wilt thou ever be 
asking questions about what concerneth thee not?" that 
she was well nigh senseless. Presently she cried out, 
" I am of the repentant ! By Allah, I will ask thee no 
more questions, and indeed I repent sincerely and whole- 
somely." Then she kissed his hand and feet and he led 
her out of the room submissive as a wife should be. Her 
parents and all the company rejoiced and sadness and 
mourning were changed into joy and gladness. Thus the 
merchant learnt family discipline from his Cock and he and 
his wife lived together the happiest of lives until death. 

164 ^laQcUaiion in ^vana. 

It is not without a sense of immense satisfaction that 
we bring our task to a close. 

When we began this article we had little idea it would 
occupy half the time, or demand so much research. But 
the obligation to keep faith with the subscribers to Curious 
Bypaths of History spurred us on. Of course, we know 
that the work is insufficiently done. None are more con- 
scious of this than ourselves. But it was impossible to do 
better amidst the constant interruptions of business. We 
venture to hope that some witty and erudite writer may 
be tempted to take the subject up from other standpoints, 
and treat it in a brighter manner. There are gentlemen 
personally known to us, whose pens pregnant with imagi- 
nation and wit, are capable of handling these studies in 
a style far more brilliant than has yet been done. 

We trust in conclusion, that the lovely damsels and 
matronly dames of England will in nowise suffer at the 
hands of their male friends and relatives from the public- 
ation of our little jeu d'esprit. If they really are to be 
beaten, we are sure that no Englishman would dream of 
effecting this operation otherwise than as pourtrayed by 
Correggio — with thornless roses in the hands of tender 

@rf(it longc nica pibcm §entcntia, 

Dili tmt)ci'ium crebtt gratiiug e§§c aut StoMliug 

i8t quob fit, qiwm illub quob amtcitia abjuiigitur. 

Terence, Adelphi, Act I. sc. 1. 42. 

List of Mr, CABBfflGTON's Beceiit 

ledical and Philosophical Publications 

Criminal Ethnography, being a Treatise on the Develop- 
ment of Crimes peculiar to the Inhabitants, native and civilized, 
of the French Colonies of Indo-China, by Dk. Coekb. 

The Dangers of Debauchery, with especial reference 

to the Intellectual and Physical Faculties, its Influence on 
the Health and Human Life, by Dr. Viebt. 

Anthropological Studies of the Esoteric Habits and 

Castoms of Antic[mty, translated into English, by Alfred 
Allinson M.A., from the Seventh German Edition of Db. Julius 


Polygamia Triumphatrix ; the History and Philosophy 

of Polygamy, based on the work of Th. Aletheus (XVI Century) 
with the Scriptural and Medical arguments used by the 
Advocates and Adversaries of this Doctrine. 

The Morbid Manifestations of the Sexual Instinct, 

from the double standpoint of Jurisprudence and Psychology, 
by De. B. Taenowsky, Professor at the Imperial Medical 
Academy of St. Petersburg. 

Medical Studies of the Latin Poets, translated from 

the French of De. P. Mekieee, together with considerable 
additions and textual illustrations. 

Curious Bypaths of History, being M'edico- Historical 
researches, by Dr. Cabahes, with a copper-plate frontispiece 
after the original of DANIEL VIERGE, edition limited to 
500 numbered copies. 

Lectures on the Origin, Progress and Elimination of 

Syphilis, with special chapters on the cerebral developments 
of this disease, and its bearings on Marriage and Divorce, 
by Paul Robertson M.D. (Edin.). 

La Jeunesse rendue aux Vieillards: — traduction faite 

sur les M.S.S. arabes (1063 de I'H^gire) dans la Bibliotheque 
Nationale a Paris. Suivie d'un Supplement traitant de la 
Nature et Efficacit^ dea Aphrodisiaques.